Back-to-school time is almost upon us, and that means you’re probably in the midst of amassing school supplies for your kids. You may have markers on your shopping list — markers for coloring, markers for labeling your kids’ backpacks and more. Just remember that when those markers dry up or run out of ink, you can do more than just throw them away.
Did you know that markers can actually be recycled? In case you didn’t. this Hawaii-based mom has taken to social media to raise awareness around this recycling opportunity. Hali McCloud posted a friendly reminder to Facebook, and it has since gone viral. The post has been shared over 300,000 times, so this is clearly an update that parents needed to hear.
“15 pounds of dead markers that will not end up in Maui’s landfill or ocean,” the mom captioned a photo of a box full of markers.
She went on tell parents about a way they can recycle these products to make sure they never wind up in a landfill or natural area, through a program called ColorCycle.
“Did you know that Crayola has a program called ColorCycle?” she writes. “If you collect the dead markers, they’ll send you a free shipping label and you can ship them back to Crayola to be recycled! My kids found out about this and were so excited to set up boxes at their schools.”
According to the post, these markers were collected in just three months — so just imagine how many markers schools across the world go through in an entire school year. According to The University of Southern Indiana, 1.6 billion pens wind up in landfills each year.
If the recycling haul at the preschool McCloud’s kids attend is any indication, there’s a huge need for recycling programs like the one Crayola offers. Thankfully, ColorCycle isn’t the only program of its kind out there.
Other Recycling Options
Recycle Nation reports that markers are difficult to recycle at home because doing so requires that the felt tip and ink cartridges be removed. But companies exist that are willing to do that work for you.
In addition to ColorCycle, the Prang Power Recycling Program offers collection and recycling services for Prang-branded art markers, and TerraCycle is great for schools or other entities with large amounts of markers ready to be recycled. They’ll send packages to fill up with your dried-up markers and will even host recycling events so people can bring their recyclables from home.
Visit these companies’ websites to find out how to get those pre-paid shipping materials for your old markers. Or share this information with a school official and see if you can get your child’s school involved!