HP has blazed a new trail in green IT by recycling plastics to produce its inkjet printer cartridges.

The global technology company said its innovative technology, 'closed loop plastic recycling system', uses recycled plastics from sources such as water bottles and ink cartridges.

However, the prices of its inkjet printer cartridges will remain unchanged (even after the announcement of this new technology), said a HP representative.

"By developing the technology to use recycled plastics in Original HP inkjet print cartridges, we have the opportunity to reduce the environmental impact HP products have on the planet," said Michael Hoffmann, senior vice president, Supplies, Imaging and Printing Group, HP.

According to HP, the process first breaks down plastic in printer cartridges made of PET (polyethylene terephthalate). Additives including fibers and resins are added to strengthen and regenerate the plastic, which is then used to manufacture new HP inkjet cartridges.

The process results in inkjet cartridges with 70 to 100 percent recycled content that still meet HP's high-performance standards.

The technology company also claims that its cartridges and the plastics they use are not melted, refilled, re-sold or sent to a landfill in the process.

Since piloting the recycling program in 2005, HP has used enough recycled plastic to fill more than 200 tractor trailers and create more than 200 million HP inkjet cartridges globally, said a HP representative.

HP already runs a Planet Partners return and recycling program in more than 45 countries. This project makes it free and easy for consumers to return HP print cartridges for recycling.

"There are several ways for users to do their part for the environment through the HP Planet Partners program,ö said a Singapore-based HP representative. "For instance, SMEs (small and medium enterprises) have the choice of returning their original print cartridges to the HP office or at over 80 retails outlets (including the Challenger store). For enterprises, they can also choose to have HP collect their cartridges monthly."