22 December 2002
It's not easy bleeding green
The European Union's new "electroscrap" rules contain a provision which is intended to reduce the number of discarded inkjet cartridges on the Continent. Manufacturers are now barred from installing smart chips inside their cartridges to insure that only the OEM brand can be used as a replacement, or to prevent the use of refill kits. Given the commodity status of inkjet printers these days, this is rather like requiring Schick and Gillette razors to accept each other's blades.
Alternatively, the EU could have mandated something resembling an incentive, a couple of euros for your used cartridges from your nearest recycling center, which would then send them back to the manufacturer for salvage, but I suppose this sounds too mercenary, too market-oriented in short, too American.