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Circular Planet expands into Spain and Portugal and adds new OEM

Close the Loop is proud to announce that its multi-vendor print consumable take back programme, Circular Planet, will be expanded into Spain and Portugal from July 2024.

Close the Loop is proud to announce that its multi-vendor print consumable take back programme, Circular Planet, will be expanded into Spain and Portugal from July 2024.

The decision to expand the initiative into new European geographies follows the tremendous success of Circular Planet in Germany, UK and the Benelux region where, since its inception in November 2023, 40 per cent of the 1,5 million cartridges collected have been returned to their original equipment manufacturers for re-use in their European factories.

The addition of HP Inc, which joined the program in May, is a boost to the already significant industry representation from founding participants that include Brother, Fujifilm, Konica Minolta, Lexmark, Oki, Printronix, Ricoh, Sharp, Toshiba and Xerox. Close the Loop is in ongoing discussions with several OEMs and hopes to announce the addition of other important brands before the end of 2024.

Close the Loop’s Circular Planet initiative is a strategic and coordinated industry response that helps OEMs achieve their sustainability and product circularity goals, while anticipating new upcoming EU legislation aimed at reducing the waste generated from those products.

Close the Loop invites all stakeholders in the printing industry to join this transformative journey towards a more sustainable future. For more information about the initiative and how to get involved, please visit www.circular-planet.com.

Close the Loop Group CEO, Joe Foster, said Circular Planet is a testament to the power of collaboration in addressing environmental challenges.

“By working together, we are not only reducing waste, but also setting new standards for sustainability in the print industry. We are thrilled with the success of Circular Planet in its first seven months. The response from both the industry and consumers has been overwhelmingly positive, demonstrating a strong commitment to resource efficiency and the circular economy,” he said.


 

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How Circular Planet Works

The program is designed to be user-friendly and free of charge for the collection of OEM consumables. Customers can register online to request empty collection boxes or arrange for the pickup of full boxes.

Collected cartridges are sorted in the country of collection to reduce environmental impact and carbon footprint. Printer consumables eligible for reuse are sent back to the original manufacturers, while non-reusable items are sent to Close the Loop’s recycling plant in Malle, Belgium.

Brother Industries Managing Director, Craig McCubbin, said Brother is market leading in this area having been remanufacturing printer consumables for over 20 years in its two dedicated European Facilities, both of which are carbon neutral and zero wate to landfill accredited.

“To date Brother have remanufactured over 40 million consumables of which as an average 85 per cent of the product by weight is reused (*excluding toner powder and cartons),” McCubbin said. “Brother designs its products to be remanufactured ensuring a much lower environmental impact than recycling. Brother is committed to further increase its remanufacturing operations through increased product take back and remanufacture, Circular Planet is a key initiative to achieve this.”

End-of-life products are processed to recover and separate raw materials for recycling and re-use making sure the OEMs live up to their promise of zero waste to landfill. Notably, plastics from Toshiba cartridges recycled at the Malle facility are used to manufacture new printer cartridges, exemplifying the circular economy in action.

Future Plans

In terms of geographical expansion, the initiative plans to deploy its Circular Planet program next in France, Italy, Austria, Scandinavia, and Switzerland.

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