Last week the French newspaper Le Monde published on its website an article on recycling print consumables. The article presents the Belgian company Clozdloop that retrieves used print cartridges and recycles up to 98% of the materials. To achieve this, Clozdloop first crushes cartridges then separates the different metals they contain. Working with Toshiba, the company has developed a process to clean the plastic pieces and the remains of toner by projecting them into an angled tower. The extracted materials are then resold by Clozdloop to recycling companies.
Among the organizations that provide the company Clozdloop with spent print cartridges, there is the French "green body" Conibi (computer and office Consortium). This organization was founded in 2000 by several companies including the printer manufacturers Canon, Epson, Xerox and Ricoh to recycle their consumables. In 2013, Conibi recovered 69 million print cartridges via its 39,000 collection points within business and government. Unlike other private actors seeking profitability the raw materials present in laser and inkjet cartridges, the goal for Conibi is 100% recycling. In 2012 Conibi recovered 470 tons of metal and 355 tonnes of plastic resins from printer catridges, which equates to a recycling rate of 55%. Conibi has signed an agreement with the French Department of the Environment, and aims to achieve a recycling rate of 70% in 2015.