Pen recycling program helps environment, raises funds for VIU

January 5, 2012 - 1:30am

The pen may be mightier than the sword but when it’s used up, it tends to be just more trash destined for the landfill.

Vancouver Island University is working with one of its major suppliers to collect and recycle pens, markers and other writing instruments.

“The university purchased 16,000 pens, markers and whiteboard markers from Grand and Toy last year,” says Margot Croft, of Environment and Sustainability -- Infrastructure and Ancillary Services at VIU.

“An individual pen may not seem like much but when you add them up, it makes a difference.”

Collection boxes will be placed near the Bookstore entrance and by the Welcome Centre near the main cafeteria at the Nanaimo campus. Croft says other locations are being considered. People who want to take part in the program can send used writing instruments to her through inter-office mail. (Mail Drop Location: 305-4)

The pens and markers will be recycled or “upcycled” into products such as tote bags, shower curtains and purses through technology developed by TerraCycle, an international eco-products company.

The recycling program, called The Write Path to a Healthier Environment, offers an added bonus for the university, says Croft. For each recycled Sharpie, uni-ball, Papermate, and Expo writing instrument, two cents will be donated to the VIU Foundation through a partnership of Grand and Toy, Newell Rubbermaid Office Products and TerraCycle.

For more information, contact:

Margot Croft, Environment & Sustainability -- Infrastructure & Ancillary Services

Phone: 250.740.6340

Email: <>

On the web:

[Sustainability at VIU]()


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