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Printer Cartridge Microchips Affect our Bottom Dollar

Eric Altmann, Reporter
September 30, 2013 • 1,456 views
Filed under Tech News

WORLD – In 2006, the EU created a law that restricted the microchips in ink cartridges. Ink companies place these chips in cartridges so that the consumer cannot refill the cartridge with another company’s ink.  However, this has brought about issues, such as electronic waste, and has even created a monopoly.

Companies have been forcing customers to buy new ink cartridges even when there is still ink available inside.

The counter inside the chip measures how many pages can be printed with the cartridge, so customers aren’t aware of when they have printed beyond their limit.

If a cartridge has a limit of 100 pages and the customer prints 100 pages (it hits zero), it will not continue to print pages, even though there is still ink left inside.

“Regulation is a good thing,” said Director of Technology Mr. Pacchiana, “so that they can make more profit from their clients and the regulators can do what’s right for the consumer.”

Customers’ roles in the products they buy are not always apparent, such as customers roles in their buying of ink cartridges. When a person throws out their cartridges, they often think that they have no more use for it.

Yet, that is not the case. Customers are given a seemingly important role when they purchase cartridges.

These disposed cartridges are eventually sent to Africa, piled upon and added to a mountain of ink cartridges. This is both futile and non-beneficial, as the cartridges do not have much value.

Though people might want to heat the cartridges up for plastic, they then realize that it cost more to heat the plastic up then what they can sell it for. The big ink companies are making it even worse by making customers buy more.

A team from Russia strived to create software to reset the chip so that one can print again with a refilled cartridge. They succeeded and the software is free. Because it’s free, more people will use it and will support this good cause.

They have made the world a better place for many people, even for rich and poor people, by working hard. Electronic waste will decrease in Africa if knowledge is spread about this very cause.

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