How the world works—my printer story
Yesterday I bought a new inkjet printer for my home. My old one stopped feeding the paper through and I couldn’t fix it myself (I kind of tried, but having no real idea what I was doing, I was, not surprisingly, unsuccessful). I don’t even know who might have been able to fix it, but I’m pretty sure that if I’d found someone, their bill would have been more than the initial cost of the printer, about $99 (four years ago). I hate how the world works.
So I wandered into a local retailer and found an inexpensive, basic printer. It cost $50. It didn’t come with a cable to hook it to my computer, so if I wanted to actually use it to print something, I had to spend another $15. The total bill, along with taxes and the $8 recycling fee, was just over $80. I guess that’s the way the world works.
Now I can take my old printer to SARCAN for no charge and they will recycle it for me, conscientiously making sure that no part of my little printer ends up in landfill. I like how that part of the world works.
The printer came with two ink cartridges, one black and one colour. You need both for the printer to work. The colour cartridges cost $25 and the black ones $30. So it will cost $61, with taxes, for me to get new ink cartridges for my printer. It cost nearly the same ($64 if you don’t include the cable) to buy the printer in the first place. I’m almost better off (economically) buying a new printer every time I need new cartridges. I really hate how the world works.
Now, the company I bought the printer from is a reputable one who does put some thought into the design of its products. There was no Styrofoam in the box. The printer takes up minimal space and prints pretty well for a basic model. But when it costs $25 for one teaspoon (5 ml) of printer ink, it’s obvious that all the resources that go into the making of the printer are ‘thrown away’ in favour of the money to be made from the ink.
I used to know this (decidedly odd) fellow who wore each pair of socks a couple of times, threw them away and bought new ones because it was too much trouble to wash them. Maybe he works for a printer manufacturer.
[Source: November 2007 WasteWatch]
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