Market for “Dead” Markers

When was the last time you used a marker? Was it a washable marker to create a sign? A highlighter to help you remember some information on the page? A permanent mmarkersarker to label your moving boxes? Or was it a dry erase marker to use on a whiteboard?

And how quickly does that marker go dry? Expo claims its markers can last 2-3 years. As a former teacher, I can guarantee you that my markers never lasted more than a month or two.

Markers are convenient and can boldly proclaim your message. They are, however, almost entirely made of non-biodegradable plastic. They may be small, but the numbers add up: Crayola alone reports that it produces 465 million markers every year. That’s a staggering amount of plastic, especially when you consider the short life of the average marker.

Fortunately, MARKERS CAN BE RECYCLED. The easiest way to recycle them is to team up with a school that is collecting “dead” markers as part of Crayola’s Colorcycle program. Enter your zip code here  to find the nearest participating school, or start a marker collection program at your local school by registering on the Colorcycle website

Crayola’s Colorcycle program takes any kind of marker and pays for FedEx to come pick it up at the school. They then repurpose the markers to make transportation fuels and to generate electricity. (The markers from Canada are made into a wax compound used in asphalt production.) According to Crayola,

— One box of eight (8) recycled markers creates enough energy to prepare a breakfast that consists of brewing a pot of coffee, frying an egg, and making two pieces of toast.recycle-earth

– 308 markers produces 1 gallon of fuel, which is enough to power an SUV (consider 15 MPG) for 15 miles.

– If a classroom recycles 193 markers, that is enough to move a city bus (consider 5 MPG) for three miles.

Markers are well worth recycling!

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