Paper Mate(R) New Biodegradable* Products Offer Consumers a Green Choice From the Ground Up

New line of pens and pencils feature components that break down in your backyard

Apr 21, 2010, 07:00 ET from Paper Mate

OAK BROOK, Ill., April 21 /PRNewswire/ -- From bringing your own bags to the grocery store to turning off lights when you leave a room, each day we make decisions that can help create a greener world. Believing that every little bit helps, Paper Mate®, a global leader in stylish, innovative writing instruments, is introducing a pen and mechanical pencil with a majority of biodegradable components, writing a new chapter in what it means to be green.

"When you write with a Paper Mate Biodegradable* pen or pencil, you can do your part to help protect our planet," said Kanan Banerjee, director of marketing for Paper Mate. "It may seem like a small step, but when you consider that nearly 12 million writing instruments** are sold in the U.S. each year, the impact can be considerable. Choosing green has never been more important, and Paper Mate Biodegradable* pens and pencils make going green simple, easy and affordable."

The biodegradable components of the new Paper Mate Biodegradable* products are made from plant-derived sugar, a renewable resource. Once the biodegradable components are disassembled and placed in soil or home compost, they naturally decompose in about a year, producing less waste and more compost. The products are also packaged in 100% PVC-free recyclable material.

The Paper Mate Biodegradable* pen comes in black, blue, red or purple ink and retails for about $1.70. The mechanical pencil is available in 0.5mm or 0.7mm lead sizes and retails for about $2.70.   Both are available wherever Paper Mate office products are sold.

The new Paper Mate Biodegradable* products are the latest step in Paper Mate's ongoing commitment to the environment.  Paper Mate also offers an existing line of products made from recycled sources, and recently introduced an innovative new upcycling program to find new ways to repurpose otherwise throwaway writing instruments.

Upcycle with Paper Mate

Paper Mate and sister brands Sharpie® and EXPO®, three of the world's most recognized writing and marking brands, have partnered with TerraCycle™, the pioneering upcycling company that finds new ways to repurpose otherwise throwaway items, to create the world's first program to collect and reuse or recycle pens, markers and other writing instruments while also helping raise funds for non-profit organizations, including schools and charities nationwide.  

Participants sign up with TerraCycle to set up collection centers called "Writing Instrument Brigades," the majority of which are located in large corporations and schools where writing instruments are used most. For every writing instrument collected at a Writing Instrument Brigade collection center, two cents is paid to the non-profit organization of that Brigade's choice. Overall, the collection efforts will reduce landfill proliferation, educate and inspire consumers to get involved, and provide much needed funding to schools and non-profit groups nationwide.  

Full Circle with Recycled

Paper Mate's new upcycling campaign and biodegradable components products join the brand's existing green product portfolio, bringing the Paper Mate green offering full-circle. Paper Mate's existing green products include:

Paper Mate® FlexGrip Ultra® Recycled Ball Point Pen

  • Classic trusted favorite now part of greener choices – made from 70% recycled material
  • Available in ball point pen and mechanical pencil
  • Grip rings near the tip for added control
  • Available in capped or retractable

Paper Mate® Earth Write® Recycled Pencil

  • Made from 100% recycled wood, no new trees are required to produce these environmentally sharp products
  • 100% recycled cedar wood from the USA
  • Sharpens to a fine point
  • Durable, smudge resistant eraser

Paper Mate® Write Bros.® Recycled Ball Point Pen

  • Made from 80% recycled material
  • Same great writing performance as the original
  • Perfect for situations where large pen quantities are needed

Liquid Paper® DryLine® Grip Recycled Correction Film

  • Made from 67% recycled material. Same great tape quality as the traditional DryLine® Grip product
  • Unique shape and grip provide comfort and control
  • Strong tear-proof tape
  • Great for correcting single or multiple lines of text before copying or faxing
  • Applies dry for instant corrections with no mess

More Ways to Write Green

Paper Mate is the brand that has long been associated with the power of the written word.  With the launch of the new Paper Mate Biodegradable* products, the power of Paper Mate to help create a greener planet has never been stronger. Paper Mate encourages consumers to do their part and follow these simple steps when communicating with friends and family via the written word:

  • Jot it down – Write thank-you notes or "just because" letters on 100-percent recycled paper...or reuse wrapping paper, paper bags or kids' artwork in a creative way.
  • Use both sides – When notes get long, use both sides of the paper.  Paper Mate pens don't bleed through.
  • Resealed with love – Enclose letters in previously used envelopes. Place a blank label over the original address and a new stamp over the old.  
  • Be your own postman – When possible, walk or ride your bike to deliver letters or notes.
  • Get creative – Turn note cards into fun items like bookmarks, gift tags, placemats or colorful coasters to make a lasting impression.

For more information on Paper Mate Biodegradable* pens and mechanical pencils, the TerraCycle upcycling program, or the full portfolio of Paper Mate green products, go to

* The majority of the Paper Mate Biodegradable pen and pencil components biodegrade in soil or home compost in about a year. See disassembly instructions on packaging.

** As reported by WIMA, Writing Instruments Manufacturers Association, 2007.

*** Paper Mate Biodegradable*: A Unique Material

The biodegradable components of the new Paper Mate Biodegradable* pens and pencils are made from Mirel™ bioplastics. The Paper Mate Biodegradable* pen and pencil components are designed to biodegrade in soil or home compost systems according to ISO 20200 and ISO17556.  Mirel is produced from plant-derived sugar, a renewable resource, providing an alternative to petroleum-based plastics. Mirel bioplastic materials biodegrade through a natural process, allowing disposal of the biodegradable components of the Paper Mate pens in your own backyard soil or home compost, where they will biodegrade in about a year. However, like nearly all bioplastics and organic matter, Mirel is not designed to biodegrade in conventional landfills.  For more information about the biodegradability properties, visit

About Paper Mate®:

As one of the world's best-known and most appreciated brands, Paper Mate allows people to express themselves using innovative, easy-to-use and comfortable writing instruments, from pens and pencils to highlighters.

Paper Mate is a brand of Newell Rubbermaid Office Products, a worldwide leader in the manufacturing and marketing of writing instruments, art supplies, technology and office products, with brands such as Parker®, Waterman®, Sharpie®, EXPO®, Liquid Paper, DYMO® and Rolodex®.

About sustainability at Newell Rubbermaid:

Newell Rubbermaid's Sustainability Vision is to be an eco-efficient company where excellence in environmental stewardship and sustainable innovation build Brands That Matter™ and create value for our shareholders, consumers and customers.

The launch of the new Paper Mate Biodegradable* range is an example of how we are striving to be environmental stewards and drivers of sustainable innovation through our brands.  In addition, we are laying the foundation to become an eco-efficient company and realize both the economic and environmental benefits at our operations and in our supply chain by focusing our efforts on energy, waste reduction and resource conservation, and green materials and sourcing.


Cathleen Bleers

Hill & Knowlton


Susan Wassel

Paper Mate®


SOURCE Paper Mate