HP accelerates drive to reduce ocean plastics with expanded Planet Partners program

New washing line in Haiti helps reduce ocean-bound plastic and benefits local communities and the planet, HP says.

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    HP Inc., Palo Alto, California, has announced the expansion of its Planet Partners supplies return and recycling program to 68 countries, including Argentina, Chile and Papua New Guinea. Expanding HP printing supplies recycling program into new markets furthers the company’s long-standing commitment to driving a circular and low-carbon economy with its partners and customers, according to HP. 

    The HP Planet Partners program is designed to make sustainable choices easier for HP customers, enabling them to take simple steps toward achieving their own goals to reduce waste. To date, the program has recycled more than 875 million HP ink and toner cartridges. By buying and recycling HP ink and toner cartridges, customers and partners take part in HP’s closed-loop process and contribute to the company’s efforts to create a sustainable future for printing that is forest-positive, carbon-neutral and supports a circular economy, HP says.

    “Like many global challenges of this year, the climate crisis reveals how interconnected we are,” Guillaume Gerardin, global head and general manager of print supplies for HP, says. “Our goal is to enable and mobilize our partners and customers to join us in driving meaningful change and a more circular economy. That’s why we are committed to developing best-in-class initiatives like our HP Planet Partners program to reduce waste going into landfills and the opening of a new wash line in Haiti to help reduce ocean-bound plastic.”

    “The HP Planet Partners program is the best-in-class OEM (original equipment manufacturer) printing supplies recycling program,” Rebecca Schiffenhaus of Keypoint Intelligence says. “HP is leading the way in helping keep plastic out of nature. The HP Planet Partners program continues to demonstrate sustainable impact by scaling across geographies, making it easy to return cartridges and including recycled content in new cartridges.”

    To further this goal, the company has pledged to grow HP Amplify Impact – a first-of-its-kind program that seeks to mobilize the company's channel ecosystem to help advance sustainability, build diverse and inclusive workforces and unlock the full potential of communities – to include 50 percent of its Amplify partners by 2025.

    Reducing ocean-bound plastics

    HP invested $2 million in a new plastic washing line in Haiti that produces clean, high-quality recycled plastic for use in HP premium products, including its ink cartridges and the company’s PC portfolio and also opens up new markets for the Haiti team. This investment into a self-reliant ocean-bound plastic supply chain continues HP’s longstanding commitment to diverting ocean-bound plastic and contributing to a lower-carbon, circular economy while providing income and education opportunities locally, the company says.

    The washing line is fully functioning, thanks to the local Haiti engineering team and HP partner, STG Group of Germany.

    HP Planet Partners recycling process also relies in part on ocean-bound plastics sourced and recovered in Haiti. HP has been reducing ocean-bound plastic in Haiti since 2016, and these efforts already have diverted approximately 1.7 million pounds (771 metric tons) of plastic materials -- or more than 60 million bottles -- preventing this plastic from reaching waterways and oceans. Of that, more than 485,000 pounds (220 metric tons) have been diverted from oceans to be used in HP's ink cartridges, according to the company.

    In October 2018, HP joined NextWave Plastics, the collaborative and open-source initiative convening leading technology and consumer-focused companies to develop the first global network of ocean-bound plastics supply chains. The coalition has set a goal of diverting a minimum of 25,000 tons of plastics – the equivalent of 1.2 billion single-use plastic water bottles – from entering the ocean by the end of 2025.  

    HP says it also has teamed up with NGO Work to create more than 1,100 new income opportunities and provide new learning centers for children on-site as their parents work on the recycling efforts. The learning centers are equipped with the latest technology, including laptops and printers using cartridges from locally collected plastics.