Office Products News

Pilot Pen puts pen refills in the picture

Pen maker highlights the benefits of refilling.
Pilot Pen Australia has partnered with sustainability consulting group, Lifecycles Australia to launch an online calculator that can predict the cost and carbon footprint savings of refilling plastic pens.
“Our business impact calculator shows that by refilling just one pen, you can reduce its carbon emissions by 40 per cent and plastic use by 31 per cent - the equivalent of 49 kilometres or 30 plastic bottles, not to mention the cost savings. Multiply this by 100 employees and this increases to the equivalent of over 3000 plastic bottles,” Jarrad Murray, head of marketing, Pilot Pen Australia (pictured), said.
According to the government’s National Waste Report 2022, business and commercial waste contributed to around half of all plastic waste in Australia last year and just 13 per cent of this was reused, recycled, or used for energy recovery – the lowest recovery rate of all types of waste.
“Refilling has less impact on the environment as it extends a product’s lifespan by maximising its utility and keeping it out of landfill. The Pilot Pen business impact calculator was developed to assist consumers in understanding how to avoid environmental burdens through these small, yet impactful day-to-day decisions,"  Timothy Grant, director of Lifecycles Australia, added.
As part of its refilling research, Pilot Pen has launched a national survey into work-place sustainability practices with a trial of an ‘Eco pack’ of recycled pens, each in a paper pouch with three easy-to-grab refills.  Almost 100 responses have been received so far. 
The preliminary results reveal that 70 per cent say that sustainability is important at work, yet the majority (60 per cent) are not actively refilling their office supplies, leaving over one third (39 per cent) doing the right thing.  
“Clearly, despite good intentions, there is a gap between ‘knowing’ and ‘doing’ when it comes to refilling,” Murray said.
One Queensland government department surveyed 56 of their employees as part of the trial and said the results would help shape their office equipment purchasing and usage habits.
They reported that that coffee cups, printer cartridges and ink supplies are the most popular items being refilled.
While the vast majority (80.4 per cent) said they are aware that pens and markers can be refilled, 67.9 per cent said they were not currently refilling them, mostly due to forgetting or losing the refills.
“With the average office worker using fifteen pens and markers per year, in a company of 100 employees, that works out to be approximately 1500 pens and markers that are going straight into landfill, which is obviously not desirable, not to mention the additional cost to replace pens,” Jarrad said.
“If we can refill water and coffee cups, then why not pens?” he added.
Date Published: 
14 March 2024