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OfficeMax Launches Nationwide 900+ Store Rollout of Ink Refill Station Program, Challenging Consumers to Be Environmentally Responsible, Save Money By Refilling Computer Printer Ink Cartridges

ITASCA, Ill., March 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Determined to persuade millions of Americans to save money and be environmentally responsible by refilling their old computer printer ink cartridges rather than buying new ones, OfficeMax kicked-off one of the most ambitious service launches in the Company's history. The OfficeMax Ink program, which involves installing Ink Filling Station kiosks that will enable consumers at nearly 900 OfficeMax stores by Fall 2006 to refill empty ink cartridges at up to 50 percent savings over buying a new cartridge, is the first step in OfficeMax's new Ink Initiative. The Company-wide Ink Initiative is designed to provide OfficeMax customers with a total ink solution spanning the purchase of new ink cartridges (either branded or OfficeMax's own label), the refilling of empty ones, and the recycling of ink cartridges that have reached the end of their useful life.

The eight-foot-high, 200-pound Ink Filling Stations -- created by London- based Cartucho exclusively for OfficeMax stores -- are to be installed in nearly 50 Chicago-area stores and will be rolled out to OfficeMax stores across the country throughout 2006. OfficeMax will charge $12.99 to $22.99 to refill an ink cartridge, depending upon the make of the printer -- a savings of as much as 50% over buying a new one. An OfficeMax employee will run a diagnostic test on every ink cartridge brought into the store; clean each cartridge of residual ink with an atomizer; and then refill the cartridge inside a vacuum chamber to ensure quality, as an onboard computer guarantees the correct amount of ink for each cartridge. Every customer walks away with an instant "print test" strip made by their newly-refilled cartridge, produced by a printer attached to the Filling Station.

Given that most computer users replace their printer's ink cartridge 4 to 6 times a year, OfficeMax believes their Ink Filling Stations could save consumers hundreds of thousands of dollars. Customers will have the option to wait in the store while their ink cartridges are refilled, with an opportunity to shop for other office necessities during the brief wait, or to drop the cartridges off at the OfficeMax store for later pick-up. Because ink cartridges can be refilled between 4 to 10 times before being recycled, OfficeMax expects the Ink Refill program to eliminate thousands of pounds of plastic waste from public landfills. "Throughout the world, consumers throw out 300 million ink cartridges a year -- and because cartridges are made of materials which do not degrade in landfills for 1,000 years, empty ink cartridges are an environmental challenge," says Ryan Vero, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer for OfficeMax. "Our new Ink Refill station program saves consumers money and is environmentally responsible. After the cartridges are refilled to the end of their useful life, OfficeMax will take them to recyclers who break down the materials without filling up another landfill."

MEDIA CONTACT: Paul Maccabee, 612-337-0087

SOURCE: OfficeMax

CONTACT: Paul Maccabee for OfficeMax, +1-612-337-0087

Web site: http://www.officemax.com/