Tue, Feb

Take it back

Take it back

How HP is boosting the green credentials of its latex printers with the European expansion of its Large-Format Media Take-Back scheme.

Wish there was a HDPE-/PET-based media recycle scheme that was free to use and simple to run? Well, HP has one. It comes in the shape of the Large-Format Media Take-Back programme, which was launched in the US at the start of 2009 to deal with the output from the company's first latex ink printer - the L65500 - but which is now being rolled out across 10 EMEA countries, including the UK, to coincide with the introduction of the new L25500 latex ink machines.

At the recent launch of the L25500 Vyomesh Joshi, executive VP, Imaging and Printing group, HP, said: "The Designjet 5000 changed the way sign and display was handled. Latex will be as important in market development. We are committed to latex as a long-term technology and think it will drive the analogue to digital transformation." Joshi stated that the latex technology would be expanded to compete at low volume to production levels, with a view to including flatbed machines within the remit. The impact HP expects latex ink technologies to have on the market can be put down to three main benefits: versatility, easy operation and maintenance, and significantly, its "end-to-end green credentials". The company is building on those green credentials with the introduction of various new recyclable substrates for the printers (which is itself said to be 85% recyclable) - plus it is making a big push on its extended Large-Format Media Media Take-Back programme for what would otherwise be unrecyclable materials/prints from the machines.

The scheme is free and simple. As a PSP using HP latex printers and HP media you simply register for the programme on-line (www.hp.com/recycle) and request when you want the waste output collected. You can have as much or as little picked-up as required. A third party collects the waste and sends it for recycling in Italy where it is injection moulded into a range of products. You can also offer the service to your customers as a value-add. Customers simply pack up the used media and HP pays the shipping charges and handles sorting and recycling.

At the moment the scheme only allows for the collection of HP media though HP says there is room for manoeuvre on that long term, and the company admits that it does not have the facility to ensure only HP materials are collected at the present time. "We will do some random checks on the waste but we really take it on trust," says Francois Martin, EMEA graphic solutions business marketing director, HP.

 "HP is running this scheme because we want PSPs taking latex machines to be able to expand their 'green' message when they go to their end customers. They can say the banners they print for instance, are going to be recycled. That is a useful message. Many today ask 'Can PSPs afford to sustainable printers?' The truth is delaying it may cost you more. If you buy into 'green' technology now it gives you a marketing advantage plus it fits in with upcoming and accelerating legislative demands," enthuses Martin.

On hearing of the Media Take-Back scheme, UK L25500 beta tester Andy Wilson of Press on Digital Imaging in Rochester, Kent, said: "We'll certainly look at it because it will help with our customers where 'green' is an issue. It will give us a competitive edge. I'd probably offer the service for free as a value-add."

OTW Imaging in Norwich, which has recently installed a Designjet L65500 latex printer said of the Media Take-Back scheme: "For us the combination of latex printing, the recyclable media and the Take-Back program isn't just about us demonstrating leadership to our customers or simply about offering them the choice of a greener signage solution. This is one of those rare instances where we can do the right thing and generate more business at the same time.  This solution is going to appeal to quite a number of our local authority clients and other customers, and we anticipate winning more custom with them as a result of being one of the first in the country to offer it."

Media collected by the Take-Back programme include:
- HP HDPE Reinforced Banner
- HP DuPont Tyvek Banner
- HP Heavy Textile Banner
- HP Wrinkle-free Flag with Liner
- HPLight Textile Display Banner

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