Saturday, April 11, 2015

Ink Cartridges: Waste Through Technology

By Alex Avila

Ponder this, if you will: it’s the last week of class, and you have a very long term paper due tomorrow. After sacrificing weekend after weekend on your social calendar to finish researching and completing this, you have finally come to the light at the end of the tunnel. You feel a strong gust of satisfaction and relief as you click “print” to retrieve the fruit of your labor and be done with the class. However, something happens: the computer indicates that the printer is out of ink. You take the cartridge out of the printer, shake it vigorously to retrieve the last dregs of ink, and are shocked to find that the cartridge actually seems to still have quite a bit of ink! Flabbergasted, you put the cartridge back into place, and find that, according to the computer, the cartridge is empty. How can this happen?, you wonder.

This is an example of a certain type of Planned Obsolescence called Programmed Obsolescence. These days, printing manufacturers have inserted proprietary smart chips to disable the printer once the ink falls under a certain level, even in cases where there may actually be enough ink to do the job. This is a burden for both consumers and the environment: first, there is the fact that inkjet cartridges are expensive enough in and of themselves, and can often cost more than the printer. Second, roughly three quarts of oil and 2.5 pounds of plastic are required to manufacture each inkjet cartridge.

Want to learn more about Planned Obsolence? Click below.

Quality Logo Products-5 examples of planned obsolence


  1. This blog is given very good information about this topic and the blog very knowledge full and all post are attractive

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  2. Business as usual, printer companies profit more from their ink than their printers.. not to mention that we do have cheaper alternatives now compared to we have 10 years ago where you would really spend a lot everytime you buy ink for your printer.