Pilot Pen Australia Now Enabling Businesses to Calculate their Impact Of Reducing Plastic Waste

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To help businesses manage their sustainability footprint, Pilot Pen Australia has partnered with leading sustainability consulting group, Lifecycles Australia to launch an innovative online calculator that can accurately 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 3,000 plastic bottles.1

Imagine the impact of this on the estimated 2.6 million tonnes of plastic waste that gets thrown into landfill each year, if every business, however small, starts to refill their pens, especially given the move towards mandatory sustainability reporting this year,” said Mr Jarrad Murray, head of marketing, Pilot Pen Australia.

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,” said Mr Timothy Grant, director of Lifecycles Australia.

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.

Jarrad Murray

“Clearly, despite good intentions, there is a gap between ‘knowing’ and ‘doing’ when it comes to refilling,” said Jarrad Murray.

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.

Interestingly, while the vast majority (80.4 percent) 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 pens2 and markers per year, in a company of 100 employees, that works out to be approximately 1,500 pens and markers that are going straight into landfill, which is obviously not desirable, not to mention the additional cost to replace pens,” said Jarrad.

“If we can refill water and coffee cups, then why not pens?” he added.

Whilst Pilot’s survey results show that recycling habits can take a while to be established, participants were keen to start refilling their pens once they had trialled Pilot’s new Eco Pack.

89.3 per cent said they would definitely refill their new pen once it has run out and many commented on how clever and accessible the refills are:

So handy to carry around in my handbag, keeping refills at hand,” said one respondent.

I will be keeping the pouch to remind me of the refill and keeping the refills safe and top of mind for future use,” commented another.

The trial itself also received positive feedback, with the majority (64.3 per cent), saying it was a “Good initiative to reduce plastic waste,” and; “A great start to the issue of pens being reusable for more than just one refill.”

This trial is critical to reducing plastic waste,” said one respondent.

“The feedback is a good sign we are on the right track to helping businesses change their refilling habits – one pen at a time!” said Jarrad.

To participate in the Pilot Pen refilling survey and receive an Eco Pack of pens and refills to trial, register at: pilotpen.com.au/ecopack or emailing: sustainable@pilotpen.com.au. To Try out the Pilot Pen business impact calculator for yourself visit: pilotpen.com.au/impact.

Pilot Pen is the largest pen manufacturer in Japan and has subsidiaries throughout the world, including Australia.  For further information, visit: www.pilotpen.com.au.

Lifecycles Australia is a leading sustainability consulting group, providing businesses with quantification, data and metrics to inform environmental decision making.

1Calculations based on Pilot Super Grip Ocean Plastic pen

2Pilot Pen Australia independent industry research, conducted by Brand Story 2021


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