Expanded ink cartridge labeling sought in N.J.

 NJ Retail Merchants Association President John Holub opposes the bill at Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee hearing (Phil Gregory/WHYY)

NJ Retail Merchants Association President John Holub opposes the bill at Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee hearing (Phil Gregory/WHYY)

Ever get confused comparison shopping for printer ink? A New Jersey Assembly committee has advanced legislation intended to help consumers make better decisions on such purchases.

The measure would require ink cartridges sold in New Jersey to have a label on the package indicating how many pages the cartridge will print.

New Jersey Retail Merchants Association President John Holub dismissed the legislation as unnecessary because the information is already readily available.

“You go on any website and do a simple search of toner cartridges, the first thing under the name of the product is going to be how many pages that product yields,” he said during a hearing on the bill.

But Assemblyman Paul Moriarty, chairman of the Consumer Affairs Committee, said that information should be on the packaging.

“There are a lot of people that make their decisions at point of sale,” said Moriarty, D-Gloucester. “I don’t believe that we should have to check something online before we go to the store.”

One of the Republican lawmakers who voted against the bill said that small businesses that sell ink they get from an out-of-state manufacturer could get caught in the middle.

“A mom and pop office supply store puts in on the shelf and suddenly they will be liable under the consumer fraud act to a $10,000 fine,” said Assemblyman Brian Rumpf, R-Atlantic. “That to me is something that certainly can put people out of business.”

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