Managing your stationery budget sustainably
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Managing your stationery budget sustainably

17 May 2022 By Wendy Vickery - Marketing Manager at Pentel

woman writing on paper

The need to make sustainable decisions is more prevalent than ever, especially when it comes to stationery. Explore our top tips for making the most of your stationery budget whilst keeping sustainability in mind.

Does looking after your stationery budget mean you have to sacrifice your sustainability principles? Let’s bust a few common myths about sustainable classroom stationery options, shall we…

Do sustainable stationery solutions cost more?

You can be forgiven for thinking that making a responsible choice for the office or classroom automatically implies blowing the stationery budget. Do your research and you’ll find products that are not only more sustainable but can help make your money go further. How’s this possible? Well, doing the right thing doesn’t have to burn a hole in your pocket, with many affordable pens made from recycled materials, giving you the choices you need to work creatively and efficiently.

Reducing plastic use

One of the most high-profile environmental issues to challenge all of us – manufacturers, buyers and users of products alike – is plastic waste, and in particular our over-reliance on single-use plastics.  It’s a fact that most pens we use in the classroom or office are made using plastic of some sort.  So far, so disappointing? Not necessarily. There’s been a significant increase in stationery made using recycled plastic, such as our EnerGel X range of products made using 84% recycled materials, making it easier to choose sustainable stationery options for your school or office, whilst saving money.

Take advantage of refillable products

Recycled content is one side of the coin: the other is refillability. An increasing number of stationery products in recent years have refillable options available, meaning that instead of purchasing a brand-new product such as a pen, glue stick, or pencil, you can instead choose to refill the product contents, meaning less plastic waste overall. It’s easy to assume that a plastic-barrelled pen should be thrown away when the ink runs dry, but for many ‘everyday’ writing instruments you should no more chuck it than you would dream of ditching a gift pen received at Christmas. Find a pen that is quick and easy to refill, so there’s absolutely no reason to throw away a perfectly reusable pen. Reusable pens can often save you money in the long run, as the refills are often cheaper than purchasing a brand-new set of pens.

Any colour so long as it’s black?

That there will be a limited choice of colours is often an expectation when it comes to pens made from recycled materials or those that can be refilled.  And different ink colours are nowadays extremely useful in the classroom, for colour-coding, marking, underlining, and referencing key comments or for pen and ink illustrations. Our EnerGel X pen features 12 colours in its medium tip size which are refillable – from standard black, red, blue and green to subtle sepia and vibrant violet.

If it’s ‘eco’ it won’t be as good, will it?

Here’s another theory we can debunk. The notion that products with strong environmental credentials are bound to offer inferior performance, right? Wrong! Our EnerGel X pen is quick-drying, with smudge-reducing ink, enabling exceptionally smooth writing, so less downward pressure is required to write, and it dries extremely quickly on most paper. The benefit of quick-drying ink? Just ask a left-handed writer, all too accustomed to messy smudging from conventional gel ink, as their hand moves across the page! And smooth flowing ink means every last drop can be used, so you can say goodbye to the need to throw away a pen that’s clogged up halfway through the refill.


So, there you have it: common myths about sustainable stationery debunked. Explore YPO's full range of popular Pentel products, including our EnerGel X pens, enabling less detrimental impact on the environment, and making your budget go further.

Categories: Education

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