Printer companies have blotted their copybooks when it comes to retrieving and recycling their old equipment, according to a new study.

The latest report card from the Electronics TakeBack Coalition (ETC) shows the industry received low marks across the board, with only Hewlett-Packard bucking the trend.

Makers of computers, games consoles, televisions and printers were rated by the organisation for their efforts to take back and recycle used products from consumers.

The report card looked at the number of collection sites set up in each state, the volume of equipment recovered, companies' promotion of "closed loop" recycling and whether items were being reused in a responsible way and not exported as waste.

Dell, Samsung and computer hardware specialist Asus received the highest marks overall.

Brother, Kodak, Lexmark, Philips, Epson and Funai were among the worst performers.

"Most electronics companies have some kind of takeback programme – but what we are looking at is whether these programs are actually effective in collecting their old products and are making sure they are not just being exported to developing nations," said ETC vice-chair Robin Schneider.

Members of the ETC include the GrassRoots Recycling Network, Friends of the Earth and the Center for Health, Environment and Justice.

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