Company Heeds Kids' Call to Recycle Markers

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California elementary students realized that each dried out marker has valuable plastic surrounding it.

Earlier this year, elementary school students and thousands of online supporters petitioned Crayola to start a ‘take back’ program to recycle the company’s markers.

Last month, rival art supply manufacturer Dixon Ticonderoga answered the call and started a marker recycling program of its own.

It’s an unexpected result of a campaign that started in May at San Rafael, Calif.’s Sun Valley Elementary School. As they worked with school art supplies, students at the school noticed that, as markers run dry, they’re simply tossed into the garbage bin.

The students, along with the help of school volunteer and award-winning children’s book author Land Wilson, decided to launch a Change.org petition to ask Crayola to start a “take back” recycling program, since markers can’t simply be tossed in the recycling bin as-is.

“I want to let you know that I am not a useless little kid. I can make a difference! By telling you to recycle your pens,” wrote one 10-year-old student on the petition page.

As of publishing, over 82,000 people have signed the online petition.

While Dixon Ticonderoga is admittedly smaller than Crayola, which manufactures a staggering half a billion markers each year, according to the petition, Dixon agreed to start a “take back” program simply because it’s “the right thing to do,” CEO Timothy M. Gomez said in a press release.

Dixon Ticonderoga’s recycling program will process the company’s Prang line of markers for recycling. The company will offer prepaid UPS shipping labels for marker hauls of seven pounds or more.

To encourage the recycling efforts of Sun Valley Elementary students, the company has provided the school a year’s supply of Prang markers.

The Crayola petition is still available to sign online at Change.org.

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