Compatible printer cartridges are not what you think they are

By Claire Bell 10 March 2021

For many it’s tempting to buy a 'compatible cartridge' for your printer rather than the branded version. They are cheaper and look the same, and some may think they are 'greener' from the packaging. But, there are hidden costs...

Do you use 'compatible cartridges'? These are inkjet cartridges that aren't made by the original manufacturer of your printer but are designed to work in your printer the same way as a branded version.

Here’s why you should think twice before purchasing a compatible cartridge:

  • They’re not green! – most compatible cartridges are not made from recycled cartridges and end up in landfill.

  • The manufacturers do not pay for the recycling of them or belong to a recognised program like Cartridges 4 Planet Ark.

  • They’re a lower quality product, which means there is no guarantee of a high paper yield performance (meaning the ink will likely run out faster and you'll end up changing the ink cartridge more often).

  • The toner is not specifically made for the printer and this could blow the fuser – creating a much bigger cost to the consumer.

  • A broader cost to the environment – by not supporting the printer brand manufacturer, who is working towards strong sustainability outcomes and product stewardship, by taking responsibility for the recycling of the cartridges.

  • There is sophisticated technology in printer cartridges themselves, so if you are buying a cheaper, lower quality product you are going to get lower quality results.

  • Cheaper is not better – there are hidden costs to the environment, to your printer and to your end product

By purchasing printer consumables from manufacturers such as Brother, Canon, Cartridge World, Epson, HP and Kyocera you are directly supporting the recycling of cartridges and the Cartridges 4 Planet Ark program, ensuring that zero waste goes to landfill and new recycled products are made from your old cartridge waste.

Find out more about our Participating Manufacturers

Claire Bell
Claire has been working at Planet Ark since 2011. Raising a young family heightened Claire's awareness of environmental issues and making sustainable lifestyle choices. Claire worked for a number of years on our National Tree Day campaign and our recycling programs. In 2021, Claire's skills as an organiser and leader moved her into the role of Head of Operations.