BuyEcoGreen Blog for info on how to recycle, recycled paper, eco friendly office, school and craft products and supplies
Before Recycling: Reuse - replace the refill if possible and continue to maximise the life of the pen body. You should be able to get a long life from the body.
To Recycle: Theoretically hard plastic pen bodies could be recycled, but in practice this doesn’t tend to happen at sorting/processing centres in Australia. If you put it in the recycling bin it will almost certainly be rejected and end up in landfill. There isn't an easy answer here. As for the refills, these are also theoretically able to be recycled but are rejected in practice. There's also the problem of any residue ink and the metal components. In the UK a firm called Terracycle apparently gets groups to collect old pens and then recycles them into hard plastic items such as bins and even park benches. We haven't heard of anyone doing that in Australia as yet.
If you can't recycle and they end up in landfill: Plastics are made from non-renewable natural resources such as crude oil, gas and coal...
We're happy to support this years Schools Clean-Up Australia Day. While the 3 R's are the place for individuals and schools to start: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle; once a year on Clean-Up Australia Day it's an opportunity to focus on what still needs to be cleaned up and fixed in our local environment.
Clean Up Australia Day is a simple way you can take action to clean up, fix up and conserve our prized Australian environment. Be a good sport and join the winning team on Friday 1st March 2013 for Schools Clean Up Day and Sunday 3rd March 2013 for the community event. Registering is simple: Find a site that needs cleaning up in your community, register online at www.cleanupaustraliaday.org.au and create your site, wait for your kit to arrive, spread the word to get your family and friends to join the site and then turn up on the day for the big clean!
Before trying to Recycle: Reuse, eg put a new label on the spine & reuse
To Recycle: If they are made from cardboard – separate the metal lever arch panel from the binder, put both parts in the recycling bin. If they are made from plastic or are plastic covered – remove the metal lever arch panel from the binder and put in the recycling bin. The plastic binder is generally not recyclable, unless it is made from eg polypropylene.
If you don't/can't recycle and it ends up in landfill: Virgin fibre paper ring binders are made from tree fibre and use a lot of water, energy and trees. If they end up in landfill it’s a great waste of valuable resources – it could have up to 7 more lives in recycled paper. Not only that, but in landfill as it decomposes it gives off methane – a greenhouse gas.
Plastics are made from non-renewable natural resources such as crude oil, gas and coal. Plastic binders can theoretically be recycled but most aren’t in practice. In landfill they...
What your school stationery and supplies are made of matters. You might only use school stationery for a year or so, but some of the materials it can be made from last a lot longer than that - usually in landfill!