Reconditioning ink cartridges in France, a relocation made in confinement

French start-up Printerre EA has launched a new range of refurbished printers and cartridges for home users. The containment and closure of borders has accelerated the development of this activity usually carried out in China. For Laurent Berthuel, Managing Director of this company based in the Eure-et-Loir, the last few weeks have confirmed France’s capacity for productivity and competitiveness.

For many companies, the containment, border closures and shutdown of production units have had deleterious effects. Others, on the contrary, have been able to take advantage of the situation.” The containment gave us time to speed up our project,” explains Laurent Berthuel, Managing Director of Printerre EA. Created in 2007, this start-up originally specialized in the reconditioning of toners for professional laser printers. In recent weeks, a new offer has been thought up for private individuals: a completely reconditioned ink cartridge in France, the Cartouche Française.

Normally, 95% of the reconditioning of printers and ink cartridges takes place in China. Due to border closures, the export of empty cartridges has been slowed down. It was then that the company based in Chérisy near Dreux (Eure-et-Loir) decided to enter this market. Printerre EA has seen, in the economic situation profiled by the coronavirus, a definite market opportunity, so much so that since mid-April, the company has been developing this activity, which has very little presence on the national territory”. Today in France, only two companies recondition ink cartridges,” explains Laurent Berthuel.

Example of competitive made in France

Since starting production of this new product, the start-up has been producing five thousand units a month.” The goal is to produce fifty thousand units per month as soon as possible,” says Laurent Berthuel. For the CEO, this goal is achievable because all the elements necessary for production are present in France.” The main raw materials we need are used ink cartridges, and the French deposit them daily at collection points. Our objective is to recover and recondition them directly on our territory,” says Laurent Berthuel. To do this, the company has installed collection points in several Monoprix stores.

In order to be viable on the market, the start-up knows that it must be able to offer a product that is competitive with the aggressively low prices of foreign products”. Our objective is to respect the market,” explains Laurent Berthuel. According to his information, the cartridges reconditioned in Chérisy are sold at the same price as the equivalent foreign references.” Price is of paramount importance. If we offer a product made in France that is too expensive, the consumer will turn to the competition. But if the French product is not more expensive, his choice is no longer the same,” analyses the managing director.

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