Published on September 3rd, 2012 | by Julie Finn3
Crayola Markers Made with Solar Power and Recycled Materials: Worth the Hype?
Although Crayola won’t concede to the requests of thousands of schoolchildren to provide a marker take-back/recycling program for Crayola markers, it has started making Crayola markers with recycled materials.
Although not really.
The only thing recycled on a Crayola marker “made with recycled plastic” is that teeny, tiny plastic plug at the end of the marker.
Big whoop, right?
I mean, yay for recycling, of course, but that teeny, tiny plastic plug is the absolute smallest part of the Crayola marker, and yet the fact that it’s made with recycled plastic is what gets the entire box branded as “made with recycled plastic.”
The one good thing about having that plastic end plug made with recycled plastic is the fact that in my tutorial on recycling Crayola markers yourself, that plastic plug is one of my waste materials, since I couldn’t discover what type of plastic it’s made from. However, I suspect that the plastic plug is made from the same #5 plastic as the marker barrel and cap–if that’s the case, it explains why black recycled plastic marker barrels ARE coming, although they’re not yet available where I live. I’m curious about why Crayola is dying their recycled plastic parts black–if they could approximate conventional coloring with recycled plastic, then they could make their marker caps out of recycled plastic, as well, resulting in a much more eco-friendly marker. This would also solve one problem that I’ve been hearing about from people who DO have the Crayola markers with the recycled plastic barrel–their small children can’t tell what color a marker is when its colored cap is off!
On a positive note, many Crayola marker boxes are also being labeled as “powered by the sun,” due to the installation of over 30,000 solar panels at the Crayola factory headquarters in Easton, Pennsylvania. This is a far more profoundly eco-friendly move, and I’m happy to buy markers made with solar power, even if it’s only partially, because I think that it’s important to support the usage of solar power.
What eco-friendly improvements would YOU like to see from Crayola? More than a recycled marker plug, I hope!