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Green goods: Pentel’s “Recycology”

 Posted by on October 7, 2008
Oct 072008
 

By John DeFore

Barring a mass return to quill-and-ink pot technology, one way to green the world’s desk drawers is to pump up the percentage of recycled materials in office supplies. Pentel is working that angle aggressively with a Recycology line that touches on most of the popular ways to manually put words and pictures on paper: Its pencils, gel and fiber-tipped pens, and permanent markers are all made with a high percentage of recycled plastic.

None of the items contains less than 50% recycled material in its body (ink and lead, of course, don’t count in that percentage); some are well over that threshold, like a “Cool Lines” pencil that is 75% recycled and 67% post-consumer waste.

In addition to behind-the-scenes green efforts the company says it has made for decades, these writing instruments are designed to have the longest useful lives possible: the refillable pencils have a “lead maximizer” feed system that claims to reduce wasted lead by almost 25%; the markers and highlighters are refillable.

Recycology even offers one or two innovations that would be noteworthy regardless of the line’s eco-friendliness — the company’s new “Handy-line S” markers and highlighters, unlike most similar products, retract into the pen’s body like a click-action ballpoint, meaning there’s no cap to lose; within the body, a clever rotating seal keeps the tip from drying out.

And with a clip design that — amazing but true — forces the writing tip to retract when you clip it into your pocket, Pentel may keep nerds everywhere from needing that dreaded piece of non recycled plastic, the pocket protector.

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