Cast your mind back a year to empty shelves, queues outside supermarkets and a strange, unfamiliar world where bird song replaced the hum of traffic. As we rushed to secure face masks and hand gels, sanitiser spray and disinfectant it would be easy to assume that in our efforts to ‘stay safe’ and keep the virus at bay we’d kicked our commitment to sustainability into the long grass.
It was – and still is – disappointing to see so many discarded single-use face masks at roadsides, which might lead anyone to conclude that, in the grip of the pandemic, we’d all but forgotten our collective responsibility to protect our environment. But, thankfully, this doesn’t appear to be the case.
Manufacturers are receiving growing numbers of requests for information about refillable products and environment-friendly packaging, just as they were pre-pandemic. And there is still firm commitment from manufacturers to replace single-use plastic packaging with more environment-friendly alternatives throughout the industry.
So, what alternatives are available to help us choose more sustainable products and packaging?
Fifteen years ago, Pentel launched a range of display books, presentation files and folders, called Recycology, made using a minimum of 50 per cent recycled materials. Recycology filing products use fewer valuable virgin resources than non-recycled equivalents, without compromising quality. Ideal for projects, presentations, recipe collections or hobbies, the Recycology range is perfect for home organisation or office filing, helping to keep precious documents and photos protected.
Recycology Writing Instruments
But there’s more to Recycology than display books. Where the Recycology logo appears next to a Pentel pen, pencil or marker this denotes that it, too, is made using a minimum of 50 per cent recycled material.
For instance, two-thirds of Pentel’s quick-drying, smudge-reducing EnerGel range is made using recycled plastic material. In the retractable EnerGel X pen the figure is as high as 84 per cent – and the pen can be refilled too.
In fact, over 40 per cent of the products in Pentel’s UK range are refillable, including pens, mechanical pencils and even bottles of glue. So, there’s really no need to throw away a perfectly reusable Pentel product.
To encourage everyone who buys a potentially refillable product to do just that Pentel has developed the message, ‘If You Love It, Refill It’, to help identify those items that can be used over and again. The logo can be seen next to certain products to make it easy to select the right one.
Reducing the Impact of Packaging
We’re all aware of the need to reduce or eradicate single-use plastic in packaging and it’s no different at Pentel. All boxes of Pentel loose pens, pencils and markers are made using recycled board, and in the last year Pentel have introduced many new wallet sets made from board, not plastic.
Where it’s appropriate to use plastic in packaging – for example, to offer a higher level of protection to heavier products or multiple sets – Pentel uses recycled polypropylene, which can be recycled or reused as required.
So, if we can take a positive from the last unsettling year, some good news is that manufacturers like Pentel remain 100 per cent committed to continuing the quest to help us all reduce, reuse and recycle for today and tomorrow.
Article by Wendy Vickery, Marketing Manager, Pentel (Stationery) Ltd.
*Percentage based on total weight of product excluding consumable elements.