Plastics continue to make headlines as brands uncover new and creative solutions that transform trash into profitable products. Building on its efforts to reinvent how products are designed, manufactured and used, HP Inc. has launched Original HP ink cartridges made from plastic bottles recycled in Haiti.
The sustainable ink cartridges were made possible through a partnership with Thread, a B Corporation that transforms trash from the developing world into recycled fabric, and the First Mile Coalition. While Thread usually makes yarn for apparel brands, some of the waste Thread entrepreneurs process is more suited for other products, such as ink cartridges.
The use of Thread material delivers on the tech company’s recent commitment to purchase recycled plastic collected in Haiti and allows HP to work towards its goal of shifting to a low-carbon, circular business model. But the benefits aren’t limited to HP’s operations, the partnership is also helping create new jobs and opportunities for the collectors of recyclables in Haiti and prevent plastics from leaking into the Caribbean Sea.
“HP has been committed to sourcing materials responsibly and treating all workers with respect for decades,” said Stuart Pann, Chief Supply Chain Officer at HP Inc. “Our work in Haiti enables us to reach the vulnerable collectors in Haiti and make their plastic part of our supply chain — which creates economic opportunities and a better quality of life for these families.”
Over 300 children currently collect recyclable materials from the Haiti’s Truitier landfill, where they and their families are exposed to unsafe working conditions. Together with Thread and First Mile, which works to address child labor in the ‘first mile’ of global supply chains, HP will provide educational opportunities, including scholarships, medical care and health and safety training to children in the communities neighboring the Truitier landfill. The initiative also provides job training for family members of the children working in the landfill and will invest over $150,000 in entrepreneurs, micro enterprises and or small-to-medium enterprises in targeted neighborhoods.
“Sustainable supply chains have to start from the bottom up and the First Mile of the supply chain is where we thrive,” said Ian Rosenberger, Founder and CEO of Thread. “We are proud this partnership can expand Thread’s mission to improve working conditions for collectors and create consistent urban markets for the poor.”
HP has a track record as an industry leader in closed-loop recycling, combining material from products returned by customers through the HP Planet Partners Program with other post-consumer materials to create new ink cartridges. Through 2016, the company manufactured more than 3.4 billion HP ink and toner cartridges using more than 88,900 tons of recycled content material — including 3.7 billion post-consumer plastic bottles. Today, more than 80 percent of HP ink cartridges contain 45-70 percent recycled content and 100 percent of HP toner cartridges contain 10-33 percent recycled content.
By working together with Thread and the First Mile, HP has taken its sustainability commitments to the next level by enabling social and environmental change.