Confirming what most of us IT professionals already know about the (lack of) economy of inkjet printers, a new study says that on average, more than half of the ink from inkjet cartridges is wasted when user toss them in the garbage.

The part that calls out for attention is that users are throwing them away due to their printer telling them that the cartridges are out of ink – when it might not necessarily be so.

According to the report by Ars Technica

The study by TUV Rheinland looked at inkjet efficiency across multiple brands, including Epson (who commissioned the study), Lexmark, Canon, HP, Kodak and Brother. They studied the efficiency of both single and multi-ink cartridges.

The result shows that many printer routinely report that they are low on ink even when they are not, resulting in wastages of up to 64% in the worst cases.

Multi-ink cartridges are also another common problem in which a single color is depleted first. Single color ink cartridges alleviate the problem somewhat, though this does not stop some cartridge to be reported as empty with an average of 20% of ink left.

You know, this brings to mind a situation in my office recently in which I initiated a “printer consumables survey”. Among other surprises, I found to my horror that one of the cheap black inkjet multifunctional was devouring about a cartridge of ink a day. Total running cost for that one unit alone ran up to more than $200 worth of cartridges every month.

Do you have any similar experiences on your end? Join the discussion.