HP Converts Plastic Trash Into Ink Cartridges In Haiti

HP and Thread have teamed up to eliminate the hazards of kids collecting plastic from landfills in Haiti. They're giving education scholarships, training adults to help in their collection efforts, and are converting plastics into ink cartridges.


Nov. 19 2020, Updated 9:40 p.m. ET

Hundreds of children in Haiti collect recycled goods from the Truitier landfill. It’s an activity that’s dangerous for them and their families. HP and other corporations are helping out by taking that plastic themselves and turning it into ink cartridges, while giving these kids an education.

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The famous printing company, along with Thread, teamed up back in September 2016 with a commitment to fight poverty and create sustainable recycling opportunities in Haiti. One of their major goals was to get kids out of dumps and into school. So far, they’ve offered more than 200 scholarships and given children full health exams. 

Not limited to just the kids, they’ve also extended job training and more work opportunities for adults. This includes helping the company gather and sort plastics that are found in landfills across the country. Safety training and other precautions are given priority in their gathering efforts. It's also worth noting that collecting plastic helps prevent the trash from getting into our waters and increasing worldwide pollution issues.

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HP has also purchased plastic from the Caribbean country, and has converted it into ink cartridges with other material. Their website boasts that four out of five standard ink cartridges from HP are made from up to 70 percent recycled material. As of the beginning of this year, over 3.4 billion ink and toner cartridges from the printing company have used 88,900 tonnes, or nearly 196 million pounds, of plastic. 

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Rosette Altidor, a local collection center owner, gave praise to the group’s relief efforts in the press release, explaining, "The work that [Thread and] HP are doing helps me get my children to school, and helps me pay for my home...It motivates me to motivate others to collect plastic as well. Everyone can benefit from clean-up work in Haiti.” 

Stuart Pann, HP’s Chief Supply Chain Officer, added that he was pleased his company could “turn waste into a resource that generates income and improves the lives of families living in poverty.”

Ian Rosenberger founded Thread back in 2012 and is currently the company CEO. Along with Timberland, they gather up the plastic waste material and process it into threads to use in their products. Excess material that can’t be woven into threads are given to HP. Rosenberger believes that the future of apparel has to be useful, to look awesome, and have purpose, and those are the goals the company strives to achieve.

The collaborative effort is a great thing to see, as Haiti is still recovering from the massive earthquake of 2010. The destruction killed approximately 316,000 people and displaced millions. Even seven years after the disaster, many are still living in deep poverty. With this in mind, these initiatives are tremendous steps in the right direction.


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