Small applause to HP for its use of re-cycled plastics as it has claimed something of a breakthrough. Instead of using pristine, new plastic in its print cartridges it has been using re-cycled plastic instead.
Since HP started using the process it has achieved good results, it ways, with "more than 200 million cartridges [being] manufactured using the process thus far". More than "5 million pounds of recycled plastic [was used] in its inkjet cartridges last year, and the company is committed to using twice as much in 2008".
And it is here that we get close to the heart of the matter and what makes green campaigners - and aren't most of us green in one way or another these days? - start to reach for something large, heavy and able to be re-cycled, to hit HP with.
Why so much plastic? Because HP sells expensive (in fact, VERY expensive) cartridges and does not like people using the cheaper, greener option of just re-filling the cartridge with ink. HP will give you a lot of reasons why its cartridges represent a good deal. Others will say that it is much cheaper and greener to squirt itself full rather than chew up yet another cartridge, even if it is green.
And then, don't get me started on the paper wastage caused by cartridges telling you they are empty and need replacing when you can still print another 100 pages with the same cartridge that you were told to get rid of? Step forward Dell on that last point.
At least Dell will take away and re-cycle your cartridge at its expense using handy envelopes provided. But why can you not simply replace your own without wasting the paper and postage. And so on, it seems ad infinitum.