Writing instruments are latest upcycling project for TerraCycle
Major corporations and local charities work together on The Write Path to a Healthier Environment™.
Sharpie, Paper Mate, and EXPO, three of the world’s most recognized writing and marking brands, have announced a new partnership with pioneering upcycler TerraCycle. The partnership will create the world’s first program to collect and reuse pens, markers, and other writing instruments while also helping raise funds for schools, charities, and nonprofits nationwide.
Collection centers, called “Writing Instrument Brigades,” will be set up at participating locales, primarily in large corporations and schools where writing instruments are used most. For every writing instrument collected, two cents will be paid to a school, community group, charity, or nonprofit organization of the participant’s choice. Overall, TerraCycle says the collection efforts will reduce landfill proliferation, educate and inspire consumers to get involved, and provide much needed funding to schools and nonprofit groups nationwide.
“Keeping one pen or marker out of a landfill may seem like a small contribution, but multiply that by the estimated $5 billion of writing instruments sold in the U.S. each year [as reported by the Writing Instruments Manufacturers Association, 2007], and it is a big opportunity to reduce waste to landfills,” says Ben Gadbois, president of Markers, Highlighters, Art and Office Essentials for Newell Rubbermaid Office Products, maker of Sharpie, EXPO, and Paper Mate products.
The collected writing instruments will be dissembled and/or reprocessed to make new products.
According to TerraCycle’s Web site, including all of its current brigades and products thus far, the company has more than 8.5 million people involved in collection, has collected more than 1 billion units of waste, has created 181 products from waste, and has raised more than $0.5 million for charity.