Lunel: Innotec, recycles and gives a second life to ink cartridges

The company from Lunel was rewarded this year by the Economic Trophies of the Pays de Lunel in the category “Local and ecological footprint”. Reportage.

Pollution is rampant all over the world. Faced with this growing ecological crisis, every gesture counts in the preservation of our environment. It has been years since the company Innotec understood how to remedy this phenomenon which spares no one.

For twenty-nine years, the company has been recycling used ink cartridges and giving them a second life. This concept earned Carole Fournier, President, Marion Martinet, Sales Assistant, Magali Ceysson, Sales Manager, and all Innotec staff the prize for local and ecological footprint at the last Trophies of the economy of the Pays de Lunel.

It all started in the district of La Pompignane, in Montpellier where Claude Guerault, a former engineer, had created the company Innotec in 1993. “Denis Vermeloux, my father, then bought the company in 2000. The two men understood everything before anyone else. We were at the start of the circular economy, it was very innovative!”, launches Carole Fournier, president of Innotec. Indeed, the company is one of the precursors of an economy essential to life today which consists in producing a good, using it and then recycling it.

Toner, enemy number one of the environment

Wanting to gain in production quality but also for the sustainability of the company, Denis Vermeloux migrated to Lunel in 2003. “We have not done like many companies that have relocated to a foreign country where labor costs less. Our primary objective was really to keep our trademark by offering products, certainly a little more expensive but much higher quality”, explains Carole Fournier. After her father’s retirement, Carole Fournier took over the torch “to uphold family values”.

Wishing to control 100% of the life cycle of cartridges, the company Innotec created its subsidiary Pro XL specializing in the collection of used cartridges. Every week, the subsidiary receives cartridges in its warehouses from several international brands such as Epson or Canon.

Two options for collected cartridges

The cartridges are then dismantled and cleaned. Each has a fine particle powder called the toner. This component, invisible to the naked eye, is used for printing and has the particularity of being very harmful and polluting. “Once the cartridges have been collected, we have two options. We do not reuse the cartridge if it is broken and on the contrary, we give it a second life if it is in good condition.says the president. The collection of cartridges is not profitable in itself but it remains in line with our ecological strategy.”

Pierre-Michel, Innotec operator.
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Under his hood, Pierre-Michel has been repeating the same gestures for years and limits the company’s ecological footprint a little more each day. It cleans each of the cartridges and reintegrates them with toner. The cartridges arrive a few meters further, in the hands of Myriam who tests all the equipment on the corresponding printers. “We offer our customers a wide choice of colors with a total of 960 references in our catalog to respect the colorimetry of each brand that works with us”explains Carole Fournier.

The last link in the group is Francis, who packs the pieces in an eco-responsible way. “Stop plastic! We only use paper and kraft tape to stay in the same spirit of sustainable development”concludes the President.

Innotec, PetiteCamargue development zone, in Lunel. Contact: 04 99 52 69 99 The company offers tours of its factory by reservation, by telephone

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