WASTEMAKER AWARD NO. 1 - LEXMARK
September 24, 1998
Rick Best (916) 443-5422
Resa Dimino (718) 885-9093
RECYCLERS NAME LEXMARK AS FIRST WASTEMAKER AWARD RECIPIENT
Manufacturer Condemned For Wasteful Printer Cartridges
(LAS VEGAS, Nevada, USA) The GrassRoots Recycling
Network announced today that it is awarding the first in a series
of WasteMaker Awards to Lexmark International, Inc. of Lexington
KY. The award is for Lexmark's wasteful single-use
printer cartridge. The group uses WasteMaker Awards to single
out manufacturers of especially wasteful products and packaging.
"Lexmark is discouraging recycling by cutting out thousands
of small businesses that remanufacture printer cartridges," said Rick
Best, chair of the Athens GA-based GrassRoots Recycling Network (GRRN)
and policy director for Sacramento CA-based Californians Against Waste.
"The Lexmark Prebate program is a raw deal for the environment,
for consumers, and for a free and competitive market," Best said.
"Every printer cartridge remanufactured saves about 2.5 pounds of
plastic from being wasted and conserves about three quarts of oil.
Each year the industry reclaims enough cartridges to conserve nearly
twice the amount of oil as was spilled into Prince William Sound by
the Exxon Valdez."
The company's Prebate marketing program for its line of Optra
S printer cartridges gives customers a discount if they agree
to either mail their cartridges back to Lexmark or throw them
away. In other words, once they accept the discount, customers
are prohibited from recycling with cartridge remanufacturers.
In theory, customers can purchase a special, rechargable Optra S cartridge. In practice, however, customers are discouraged from purchasing the rechargable Optra S cartridge by a higher price and by lack of universal availability.
Lexmark Optra S printers command 8 percent of the private
printer market, but 53 percent of the workstation printer market in
government and business, according to Tricia Judge, editor of Recharger
When the Prebate program was introduced in May 1997, Lexmark
sent certified letters to every cartridge remanufacturer in the US,
making clear its intention to sue any company or individual caught
remanufacturing a Prebate Optra S cartridge. The GrassRoots
Recycling Network has joined Ralph Nader's Government Purchasing Project
in asking the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to investigate Lexmark
for possible violations of antitrust laws.
The GrassRoots Recycling Network is calling on corporate and public
sector purchasing officials and the general public to stop buying
Optra S products until Lexmark terminates its Prebate
program, and to work for legislation and policies that restrict
state or local governments from doing business with companies that
require "single-use" terms.
The GrassRoots Recycling Network is a coalition of recycling and community-based activists who work through advocacy, grassroots organizing and
public education to promote three messages: Zero Waste, Create Jobs from
Discards, and End Corporate Welfare for Wasting. GRRN was founded two years ago by members of the Sierra Club Waste Committee, Washington DC-based Institute
for Local Self-Reliance, and the California Resource Recovery Association.
CLICK TO SEE related information on the Lexmark Prebate program on this site:
NOTE: A bill introduced in the New York legislature by Assemblyman Morelle, Bill No. 10868, would prioritize the purchasing of remanufactured goods in the
state procurement process.CLICK HERE to review the bill and its current status via gopher.