"Ink is two times more expensive than French perfume by volume," Suvir says with a chuckle.
He's right: Chanel No. 5 perfume costs $38 per ounce, while the equivalent amount of Hewlett-Packard printer ink can cost up to $75.
It seems that Madeleine Stix (the writer of the article) brings printer ink up to contextualize costs for people who are more familiar with the price of HP ink cartridges (and I guess Chanel perfume?) than the kind of ink the GPO uses.
Also, if you take a look at the video (@ 1:59-2:06), the teen in question states that his goal is not necessarily to get the GPO to change its practices, but "to get a few individuals to change."
I have seen the process you're talking about and I've also read that home printers are very wasteful, perhaps even by design. To me, a better solution entails cheaper ink, but also very efficient machines that minimize waste. Of course, where's the profit in that?