It takes 400 years for most plastic to degrade. So if it had existed in Shakespeare's time, the Bard could have swigged his ale from a plastic bottle, chucked the empty in the Avon, and it would only recently have disappeared. Makes you think, doesn't it?

There's no getting away from the fact that many pens are guilty of being made of plastic, but Pilot's B2P collection, part of their BegreeN range launched in 2006, is a little different. Yes, the pens are made of plastic, but it's plastic that has come from used bottles. And the latest members of the gang are the Ecoballs - refillable ballpoints made from 86% recycled plastic, 2.5% of which has been removed from our oceans and waterways. From this year, 2021, the B2P gel pen will also include recycled ocean plastic within the 89% recycled plastic it already contains.

'The problem of plastic in our oceans and on our shores is a worldwide concern,' says Fumio Fujisaki, CEO and Urban Martell, VP Sales & Marketing, Pilot. 'Fighting against plastic pollution is essential and for this reason we are happy to partner with TerraCycle to create a unique range of pens which contains reclaimed ocean plastic material.'

TerraCycle was founded in 2001, and launched in the UK in 2009. It works with individuals and organisations to collect the sort of waste that local councils won't take, such as yoghurt pots, toothpaste tubes, crisp packets and coffee pods. Then it upcycles these things into eco-friendly products. So far, over 156 million items have been diverted away from landfill. We like TerraCycle!

Pilot's three 'Rs' - Recycle, Refill, Reduce - have therefore been joined by a fourth: Recuperate, that is, getting plastics off our beaches and riversides before they actually get into the water. Becoming increasingly more environmentally-friendly is an ongoing pursuit for Pilot. Currently, 63% of all Pilot pens are refillable, and this is a percentage they'd like to increase. They intend to phase out all plastic in their packaging, as far as is possible. They've sold over 39.5 million B2P pens since 2008, and changed more than 200 tonnes of plastic bottles into pens. Every pen in the BegreeN range - of which there are currently 26 - contains at least 70% recycled plastic and when refilled three times will save up to 95% of CO2.

'Do better with less' is Pilot's aim. Not a bad aim for all of us.

27 April 2021


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