SINGAPORE--Five printer manufacturers--Brother, Canon, Epson, Dell and Lexmark--will be jointly managing and funding an ink and toner cartridge recycling initiative, titled Project Homecoming, in Singapore. It is touted as the first joint recycling effort by the companies here.
According to Andrew Koh, lead spokesperson for Project Homecoming and senior director and general manager of consumer imaging and information products division at Canon Singapore, the recycling project is supported by Singapore's National Environment Agency (NEA) and National Library Board (NLB). He was speaking at a press briefing organized to announce the launch here on Thursday.
The main aim of the initiative is to encourage community awareness and environmental responsibility among Singaporeans via convenient cartridge recycling and education, he added.
This project is also the first international expansion of the original recycling project, called Ink Cartridge Satogaeri, which was started in Japan three years ago, according to the press release issued on Thursday.
Project Homecoming will provide accessible recycling bins at 13 libraries in Singapore, where people can deposit their used ink and toner cartridges of any brand, it said. The cartridges will then be periodically collected for proper recycling, which include breaking down plastics and metal parts, to minimize waste and pollution and recover valuable resources, the companies said.
"We aim to bring greater convenience to the public who are keen on making a personal contribution to recycling efforts across the island, and are proud to be working together as a team to jointly fund and promote the culture of recycling in Singapore," Koh said.
He added that the project aims to drive home the message of environmental awareness and the role the printing industry is playing in raising the issue. While it will not be providing any incentive for people to recycle, he noted that the younger generation in Singapore are becoming more eco-aware and hoped to encourage this further through education and publicity.
Loh Teck Heng, software and peripherals channels director of small medium business at Dell Asia-Pacific and Japan, also pointed out that the libraries chosen for the recycling bins are "located conveniently" and, as awareness of the initiative spreads, he "doesn't see why Project Homecoming will not succeed".
Asked why Hewlett-Packard (HP), the world's No. 1 printer maker, is not involved in this initiative, Koh said the vendor "chose not to participate".
Annukka Dickens, environmental manager at HP Asia-Pacific and Japan, told ZDNet Asia in an e-mail that its HP Planet Partners Program has seen more than 380 million cartridges returned and recycled since it was established in 1991. It also has "one of the most comprehensive" cartridge return programs in Asia-Pacific, with about 14,000 touch-points across 11 countries, she said.
On the Project Homecoming initiative, she said: "We at HP are happy to know that other vendors in the industry are now also providing ways in which customers in Singapore can recycle their used printer cartridges."
As to how long the project will run, Koh said there would be "no specific timeline" but he hoped it will continue and expand further.