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creating inclusive employment

The UK market for ink products is around £3 billion annually. Business users replace their cartridges on average four times per year and spend approximately £92.00 per employee per year. Of 60 million cartridges used annually, only 10% are recycled (mainly via expensive journeys to and from China), with 57 million of these ending up in a landfill or being incinerated, contributing 40% of the lead and 70% of heavy metals found in the waste stream causing unnecessary harm to individuals, communities and society.

This project seeks to address both of these issues through developing a cradle to cradle remanufacturing process, employing people with disabilities to create a quality process that will meet industry standards and customer expectations. Inklusive has commenced low-level testing/trading turning over £13k with a net profit of £2.5k which has been reinvested into website improvements and is needed for stock and working capital. It is now looking to commence the training and employment of disabled people in the remanufacturing, refilling and repurposing process.

In partnership with Remploy the programme will work with people with disabilities to design and refine remanufacturing and reuse processes that result in products that will be tested for quality at least equal or exceeding existing industry standards.   

Through creating a constructive advantage we will build the business recognising customers as full partners in value creation and sharing. Reciprocity will result in large volumes of cartridges being constantly re-used and therefore diverted from the waste stream. The business will create sustainable employment for people with disabilities and make a difference in addressing the imbalance in employment in society.



The project will grow beyond RSA Catalyst using the proceeds of its business activities. It is hoped that the first six trainees will all be offered part-time employment with Inklusive, paid from business activity. These hours will increase based on the development of the business. The future requirement of trainees will be met through the national network of Remploy Employment Services who currently find employment for over 20,000 disabled people per year.

The business has been established as a CIC with all profits reinvested into the environmental and employment aims of the business. The intention is to replicate the business as each centre reaches capacity, developing regional resources based on business activity levels. The learning from the project will be able to be applied to similar products and it will assist other social enterprises in developing and learning about the advantage of value cycles.



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