Today we’ll be comparing two of the big names in printer, laser printer, and copier ink manufacturers: Brother and Canon. One of the marks of a company that is truly dedicated to “green” business policies is how easy it is to recycle with that company. If a recycling program is difficult to use, people are unlikely to use it, which means more ink and plastics dumped into landfills. Once we’ve gone through all ten companies, the Laser Printer Resource Blog will rank the toner recycling programs from best to worst!
Of Brother and Canon, Brother is far and away the easiest recycling program to use. It’s so simple it’s almost ridiculous: you pack up your used Brother products, print out the prepaid shipping label directly from its webpage, slap it on the box, and drop the box in the mail. There’s no fuss about what products Brother will or will not accept; they take everything that they make back.
Canon, by contrast, goes out of its way to make recycling difficult. First, you have to register, and you’re required to provide your name, address, and email. If you don’t uncheck the box that says, “I would like to be notified about new products and services in future,” you get automatically signed up for Canon’s email marketing program. Just what everyone wants: more junk email!
Once you’ve registered, you go to the next screen, where Canon has you select the product that you will be returning – and get this, it doesn’t even accept all of its products back. If your product is not on the drop-down list, a little “help” link explains why: “It may not be a toner “cartridge” – this program does not currently accept toner, starter or developer “bottles” or other containers.”
Oh, Canon. Don’t responsible printing companies make sure all the products that they produce don’t go to landfills?
Along with this is the friendly warning: “Any unauthorized use may result in the return to sender at sender’s expense” and “Canon reserves the right to deny future access in case of unauthorized use.”
But you still aren’t done! First you must select your machine’s model number from a drop-down menu and THEN go to your machine to type in the serial number. Since I don’t own a Canon machine (and am glad of it, with their recycling policies!), I had to give up at this point.
Two big companies. Two completely different green policies. Tune in next week to see Hewlett Packard and Konica Minolta face off!