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ConeColor Introduces Eco-Friendly Ink Alternative for Epson Ultrachrome K3 Printers

(EAST TOPSHAM, Vermont) November 7, 2007---Vermont PhotoInkjet announced today the immediate availability of their new color ink formulation which replicates the color-space of EPSON’s Ultrachrome K3 inks. ConeColor inks are sold in economical one-liter bottles that are packaged with a set of eco-friendly refillable cartridges. The solution can save the average user 65% or more of their current ink costs. The savings to the environment is even greater.

ConeColor ink shares the same pigment technology as Piezography® K7 inks and that makes them extremely fade resistant and non-damaging to EPSON print heads. The ConeColor inks do not require any additional color management, and can be used with existing ICC profiles.

Vermont PhotoInkjet’s President Jon Cone points to his son’s efforts to have a low-impact on the environment as his overwhelming decision to bring ConeColor to market in this manner. “Spencer asked me what I was doing to prevent my customers from throwing out their cartridges into landfills. He also brought my attention to the health effects of factory workers who make semiconductor chips which is a very toxic manufacturing process.” Cone added “We were recycling at home using Spencer’s methods and awareness that he learned at the Putney School, and I wanted to help create a solution rather than continue to manufacture a part of the problem.”

Instead of using cartridges for one-time use, ConeColor is marketing its new inks for use in a set of high-impact ABS refillable cartridges for the EPSON 4800, 7800 and 9800 printers. These carts are easily filled from a bottle and their semiconductor chips are simply reset with an included chip re-setter. A solution for the EPSON 2400 is forthcoming. Vermont also hopes to bring more of its Piezography brand monochromatic ink customers into eco-friendly solutions in a similar manner.

“Every day ink cartridges are being thrown into US landfills and it’s so unnecessary. An even worse impact is that the carts require and contain a semi-conductor chip,” warned Cone. Semiconductor chip manufacturing requires exposing workers to highly corrosive hydrochloric acid; metals such as arsenic, cadmium, and lead; volatile solvents such as methyl chloroform. Tolulene, benzene, acetone, and trichloroethylene; and toxic gases such as arsine. Many of these chemicals are known or probable human carcinogens. “When you read how much waste water is produced in order to create these tiny little chips, and think of our own fresh water shortages that we face here in Vermont as well as other parts of the country, it gives you pause to think,” said Cone.

While Vermont PhotoInkjet lauds the efforts of semiconductor factories to continue to find ways to reduce their workers exposure to toxins, a faster impact to the environment is to lower the dependency on chips which can be re-used rather than discarded. Vermont PhotoInkjet’s proposal for environmentally conscious consumers is to purchase high-quality inks in bulk and use refillable cartridges. Because Vermont PhotoInkjet carefully matched the color-space of the OEM inks, users can slip ConeColor inks right into their current color workflow.

Colleen Duffley of Colleen Duffley Photography in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida is an early adopter of the ConeColor inks system. “I live and shoot in one of the world’s most beautiful and pristine beaches in Florida,” said Colleen Duffley. “I use a complete digital workflow that includes shooting, editing, and printing and I can’t imagine throwing away a media card because I used it up in my camera, so why did I have to throw away all those ink carts because I used up the ink” Colleen questioned.

“I began using the ConeColor ink system and the color is everything I expected and I no longer have to feel guilty about throwing away ink carts,” said Ms. Duffley.

Because a ConeColor customer may need only one refillable cartridge set for the life of their printer, they will dramatically reduce the amount of plastic cartridges that would otherwise find their way into local landfills. Also, they are doing their part to protect semi-conductor workers worldwide who have one of the highest percentages of work related health issues and children born with birth defects.

Consumers in the USA often believe that using third-party inks voids their warranties. To the contrary, the USA has strong consumable laws such as the Magnusson-Moss Warranty Act that disallows a manufacturer from forcing a consumer to utilize only their ink brand in order to warranty their printer. Vermont PhotoInkjet has insurance for their manufacturing that covers its customer’s equipment should repairs be necessary and the inks or refill cartridges are shown to be the source of the damage. Vermont PhotoInkjet is one of the few ink companies that can provide this type of security to its customers. “We’ve had such a great record of satisfaction with Piezography inks that we were able to get this kind of insurance coverage,” explained Jon Cone.

ConeColor inks are available in one-liter bottles including both a matte and a photo black option. They are priced at $184.00 per bottle which represents 18˘ per ml in comparison to EPSON’s 50˘ per ml. The refillable cartridge system is $398.00. The price of ConeColor ink is $40.50 for same equivalent amount of EPSON brand ink in a standard 220ml cart. ConeColor brand ink and refill carts are available now from and are being made available by Vermont PhotoInkjet to resellers in the USA with a contact link on the website.

Vermont PhotoInkjet, LLC is a small company located in the rural village of East Topsham, Vermont and is renowned worldwide for its Piezography brand of monochromatic inks and software. It operates on the world-wide-web as Jon Cone is also President of Cone Editions Press (est. 1980) which is recognized as being the world’s first digital printmaker. Cone Editions developed and sold one of the earliest archival inks for use in IRIS printers in the mid 1990s. Vermont PhotoInkjet and Cone Editions Press have been recycling through the Vermont Waste Management Division.