Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle with HP

Michelle Petrovic

Sustainability. It’s a hot topic that is everywhere you look. Just turn on the news and you’ll hear at least one story about global warming and how we need to change our habits to save the planet before we don’t have one anymore. The Oxford Dictionary defines sustainability as “the ability to be maintained at a certain rate or level; the avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance.” Basically, the goal of sustainability is to reduce carbon emissions by finding renewable fuel sources in an effort to protect delicate ecosystems.

How many water bottles do you use in a day?

We all know that we should be drinking at least 8 cups of water a day. That translates to up to 4 bottles of water just to get that daily requirement. But what happens to most of the 20,000 plastic bottles that are produced every second? In the U.S., a lot are recycled or thrown away and brought to a dump or a transfer station never to be seen again. But in other parts of the world, they don’t have the infrastructure we have. In those cases, bottles end up in waterways. Every year, 8 million tons of plastics leak into the marine environment from land-based sources. HP has a goal to use 30% post-consumer recycled plastics across HP’s personal systems and print product portfolio by 2025. While HP is only 7% to their goal, HP has diverted over 25 million plastic bottles from the ocean since 2016 to be used in manufacturing HP Original Ink and Toner. In addition to the ink and toner cartridges, HP Printers and HP Displays include an average of 24% recycled plastics.

Where do you begin collecting ocean-bound plastics?

For a single person in the U.S., the easiest way to collect ocean-bound plastics is by picking up any you see on the beach. While it may not seem like a lot, litter on the beach can very easily get into the ocean. In 2016, HP launched a program in Haiti to help tackle this challenge. By providing 795 Haitian adults with income opportunities, HP has been able to collect more than 25 million plastic bottles for manufacturing as of March 2019. This plastic has been used in many different HP products. The most recent being the HP Elite Dragonfly—50% of the notebook is made with recycled materials. It’s also the first notebook to be made with the ocean-bound plastics collected in Haiti. This recycled plastic is also being used to manufacture new printers. The HP Tango Printer incorporates more than 30% closed-loop plastic. By reinventing how they think, HP has been able to help a community with new jobs and a technology-driven way to clean their environment.

Do you think twice before you print?

While more and more work is done digitally, people and businesses still need to print. But what happens to the paper once you’re done with it? Do you recycle it or throw it away? And where does your paper come from? I know I never think about it. Even if we aren’t thinking about it, HP is. By 2020, HP Supply Chain has a goal to achieve zero deforestation associated with HP brand paper and paper-based product packaging. They are currently at 100% to goal with HP brand paper and 60% to goal for paper-based product packaging. Forests are key for human, animal, and plantlife survival around the world. HP Printers and their software have been designed to optimize paper-use, defaulting many printer fleets to double-sided.

What about when you need to replace your ink or toner?

What are you supposed to do with the cartridge? All I know is that my printer always runs out of ink when I need it most. To close the loop on plastics, HP has manufactured over 4.2 billion ink and toner cartridges using more than 107,000 tons of recycled plastic. More than 80% of HP ink cartridges and 100% of HP LaserJet toner cartridges worldwide are now produced with some recycled plastic from a closed-loop system. This has kept 830 million HP cartridges—an estimated 101 million apparel hangers and 4.37 billion post-consumer plastic bottles—out of landfills. Instead, these materials are upcycled for continued use. HP makes it easy to recycle your cartridges. In every toner package, HP includes a return shipping label. All you have to do is package it up, slap on the label, and you’re on your way to recycling.

Do you have an upgrade strategy?

We all know that newer technology is more energy-efficient. Every new generation gets more sustainable. Whether it’s the materials a product is made from, or it’s power consumption, the design behind HP products focuses on sustainability. For example, the HP Elite Dragonfly is the first business-class convertible notebook to be made of magnesium, a fully sustainable material. Newer HP Printers are a lot more energy-efficient, and the ink and toner that they use is made of recycled materials. But it’s not as simple as buying new devices. What do you do with the old ones? With solutions like Device as a Service, Managed Print Services, or HP Instant Ink, you are able to get access to the latest technologies with the ability to scale as business needs evolve. With all of these options, HP and Connection make it easy for you to recycle your devices while upgrading to the latest sustainable technology.

Sustainability is about more than driving an electric car or not using plastic straws. When it comes to sustainability, every small act can make a difference. How we’re really going to see change is with more companies like HP making the effort. HP is recognized as one of the world’s most sustainable companies. By collecting ocean-bound plastics in Haiti, HP has started cleaning the ocean and is creating jobs. A print company achieving zero deforestation truly shows a commitment to the environment. Even making it easy for anyone to recycle ink and toner cartridges by paying for the return shipping proves how important sustainability is and how it impacts us all.

Ready to learn more about HP and their commitment to sustainability? Listen to our podcast and hear directly from the experts at HP.

Michelle is a Product Manager for Workplace Transformation at Connection. She has more than 10 years of experience with endpoint devices in both the consumer and commercial space. In her free time, Michelle likes to travel.