Here’s the lie: Green Business Lie #21: Companies to consumers — “No backsies!”
Here’s the truth — excerpted from The Truth About Green Business:
TRUTH 21: Product Take Back
How many printer cartridges do you use a year? Where do they go when they’re empty? Hewlett-Packard saw a way to reduce its use of new plastic resin by re-envisioning how it made its products. Their innovative plan to “close the loop” in cartridge production takes back used cartridges from consumers, and blends the plastic with recycled water bottles, to create a cartridge line with up to 75 percent recycled content.
The results? Of course Hewlett-Packard’s green printing innovations create less waste, but it also created savings for customers estimated at $2 million per year for the California state government alone. Do you think the reduction of materials cost has improved Hewlett-Packard’s bottom line, too? Count on it.
From the waste stream to the production line—Product takeback occurs when a manufacturer takes responsibility for product or packaging material after the customer is done using it. The manufacturer reaps the benefits of material recovery, and the customer gets more convenient recycling—often at point of sale— instead of disposing of the used product. Beverage bottle recycling is the most familiar example (with a small deposit paid at point of purchase to provide incentive for closing the loop). Product take-back has been extended to tires and batteries in the United States and a growing number of consumer products in Europe—which is often the harbinger for future policies for the United States.