Epson claims that their inkjets use 85 percent less energy than its laser units and emit 85 percent less carbon dioxide. While these numbers may not matter to people who print only occasionally, they offer businesses and nonprofits a way to reduce their carbon footprint and energy consumption.
Inkjets often require fewer single-use materials. Inkjets use only ink and waste ink boxes, whereas laser printers depend on toner, fusers and developer. Inkjet printers not only produce 60 percent less ewaste than laser printers but also use a lot less oil to make one cartridge.
The decision to end all laser printer sales is likely a part of Epson’s “Environmental Vision 2050,” a circular economic model the company first committed to in 2018 and revised last year. Its biggest focus is Epson’s promise to become carbon-negative and “underground resource free” by 2050.
That said, inkjet printers aren’t the definitive solution to sustainable printing that Epson would like consumers to believe them to be. Inkjet cartridges are quick to dry, so some printer users end up using more ink. Inkjet printing is more expensive per page than laser printers, so the energy savings might not be worth it. Epson has been in serious trouble for forcing printer users to visit an authorized technician to repair their damaged machines. Some Epson L360, L130, L220, L310, and L365 users even have to replace their machines altogether, which only puts more money in Epson’s pocket while producing seemingly unnecessary e-waste.
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