Insights from The Recycler Conference in Prague

Reman: a brand for Europe and an informed consumer initiative



Deborah Hawkins


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Prague was the setting for the recent Reman community gathering (May 19-20, 2022), organized by The Recycler. The excitement amongst this group at the prospect of the first onsite conference in three years was heart-warming. And this close-knit community had lots of news to share.


Firstly, the Voluntary Agreement has been squashed. Instead, the European Commission (EC) has taken it upon themselves to regulate the printer supplies market to ensure a higher level of sustainability. Much of the work of the EUGreenDeal is focused on empowering consumers so they can make more informed decisions. That means that consumers will know at point of sale what they are buying, how long it will last, and if it can be repaired. New rules will protect consumers against misleading practices related to greenwashing or to early obsolescence. The lobbyist eyes at the EU in Brussels can feel the change coming, with interest levels increasing and inertia to move on.


Secondly, the conference coincided with Clover Imaging’s announcement to exit the European market, which caused quite a stir in this community. At one time Clover was one of the largest remanufacturers in Europe, nurtured through an aggressive acquisition strategy that saw many small players gobbled up and new opportunities suddenly arise for those that remain. In the future, Clover will continue to serve the North and Latin American markets but will no longer serve Europe. Clover linked its decision to close Europe, shutter the production facility in Serbia, and let go 250 staff members to the European Commission’s rejection of the Voluntary Agreement as well as the loss of several strategic European accounts, such as Staples, Lyreco, and Office Depot.


And lastly, the European Toner and Inkjet Remanufacturers Association (ETIRA) announced its EU-certification mark aimed to raise the profile for reman and allowing consumers to clearly recognize products that are better for the environment. Reusing an OEM cartridge can reduce the CO2 emissions by up to 60%. The certification mark has legal status and is officially registered by ETIRA, stating the product to be from an ETIRA member company as a remanufactured OEM cartridge produced by an ETIRA member. The unique 2D hologram below cannot be copied and can easily identify the producer and ensure they meet the program requirements, giving the consumer security and assurance.


ETIRA Certification label

And the Winner Is…

As is customary, The Recycler presented its annual industry awards at the conference. Congratulations go to:


  Remanufacturer of the Year


  Supplier of the Year

Static Control Components

  Reseller of the Year


  Collector of the Year

ECS-The Greener Side

  Customer Service of the Year


  Marketing Campaign of the Year

GM Technology


Keypoint Intelligence Opinion

Reman as a sub-segment of the document industry is one that brings not only high revenue but also plays a valuable role in making consumers and industry stakeholders more sustainable. The entire business model revolves around collecting, remanufacturing, and lowering a business’ CO2 footprint. Often seen as a friendly enemy by vendors, the reman industry has provided short-term relief for many a supply chain issues through the pandemic and should be accepted long-term as a viable partner that provides local facilities for the remanufacturing of supplies and office devices.


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