Circular economy episode 4: But what happens to your used ink cartridges? Thrown in the trash most often. Faced with this situation, the Ivorian start-up Nverse has decided to tackle this problem, which causes serious damage to the environment and also to health. His solution: an all-in-one service that includes the cartridge but also collection, remanufacturing and recycling.
In Côte d’Ivoire, as in many countries, millions of ink cartridges are placed on the market each year, yet more than 95% end up in the garbage at the end of life. Used cartridges are part of the “Special Industrial Waste” (DIS) family: they contain very toxic components for the environment (aluminum, non-biodegradable plastic, iron oxide, ink residues, lead…), and also present health risks.
The start-up Nverse has chosen to create a printing solution in the circular economy. It sells ink cartridges that ensure optimal print quality. The buyer, by choosing the Nverse cartridge, is sure that it will be collected, sorted, remanufactured or recycled.
Customers store empty cartridges in dedicated bins. Once collected, the used cartridges are then sorted to follow 2 possible routes. As a matter of priority, they will be remanufactured: each cartridge is dismantled, all the elements are inspected and cleaned. Spent or damaged parts are repaired or replaced. Each cartridge is re-filled and re-assembled to return to the market. If the cartridges are too damaged, they are dismantled by separating each material (copper, powder, various plastics…). All the components will then be carefully sorted and reintroduced into an industrial circuit as secondary raw materials.
Find out more about NVERSE through this short interview.
I am FADIGA Karamoko, founder of the start up NVERSE. Holds a BTS in Finance, Accounting and Corporate Management. From the terminal class, I do research and development in remanufacturing technology of used ink cartridges.
Winner of several awards: INDUSTRY Award of the Business Plan Competition of the CGECI Academy 2016, first COFINA Templin Challenge 2017, winner of the project PRODIJE of the CGECI financed by the AfDB.
Today, NVERSE consists of a team of 6 people. We will recruit the remaining members of the unit as our business expands. Within 5 years, the staff of NVERSE will be composed of 35 people.
NVERSE, specializes in collecting, recycling used ink cartridges and marketing remanufactured ink cartridges.
Born in 2010, NVERSE was officially created in August 2016 with a dual vocation:
Through its COLECYCLE program, NVERSE supports the CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) approach of companies in Côte d’Ivoire: thanks to our collection boxes, companies can recycle their ink cartridges to give them a second life.
By allowing the sorting and recycling of 100% of print waste, NVERSE helps reduce waste and preserve natural resources.
Reducing the amount of waste we produce is everyone’s responsibility, especially when it comes to equipment used very frequently such as printer cartridges.
By way of example, each remanufactured laser cartridge preserves the environment of about 1.5 kg of waste; 100,000 recycled cartridges represent 9,599 kg of aluminum or 40 tons of plastic.
Re-manufacturing or recycling means giving a second life: all the cartridges we produce are made from the collected empty cartridges.
Start-up’s growth model is to produce in Côte d’Ivoire, grow and create jobs in Africa.
Our vision is to be the leader in collecting and recycling used ink cartridges in the next 10 years in Côte d’Ivoire and the subregion.
Read the other articles in the circular economy dossier:
Waste becomes a sustainable energy source
Africa in the Circular Economy
Circular economy: new perspectives for Africa