Crayola Markers Made with Solar Power and Recycled Materials: Worth the Hype?

crayola markers made with recycled materials
The black end plug on these Crayola markers has been made with recycled materials; everything else is new plastic.

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.

Sort of.

Although not really.

plastic barrels and caps from Crayola markers, ready to recycle
plastic barrels and caps from Crayola markers, ready to recycle

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.”

Crayola markers made with recycled materialas.
They still color just fine!

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!

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Written by Julie Finn

I'm a writer, crafter, Zombie Preparedness Planner, and homeschooling momma of two kids who will hopefully someday transition into using their genius for good, not the evil machinations and mess-making in which they currently indulge. I'm interested in recycling and nature crafts, food security, STEM education, and the DIY lifestyle, however it's manifested--making myself some underwear out of T-shirts? Done it. Teaching myself guitar? Doing it right now.

Visit my blog Craft Knife for a peek at our very weird handmade homeschool life, and my etsy shop Pumpkin+Bear for a truly odd number of rainbow-themed beeswax pretties.


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  1. Crayola’s commitment to solar is exactly why we LOVE Crayola. The point of the petition is to address the “elephant-in-the-room” of enormous amounts of plastics on a one-way track to landfills, incinerators, and oceans. In this day and age, there are good solutions for keeping our industrial materials strictly within industrial cycles. It is not justified for any company to degrade what our children are going to inherit for the sake of profit or business as usual. If Dixon Ticonderoga can do it, so can Crayola.
    Great site, Crafting a Green World! Thank you for recognizing our petition! ~Land Wilson (on behalf of the “Kids Who Care” from Sun Valley School)

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