Crayola goes back to the classroom to close 'pen to fuel' loop

Crayola is working with schools in the US on a closed loop recovery scheme to recover its used plastic marker pens and convert them into renewable energy.

The stationery manufacturer has teamed up with clean energy firm JBI to take advantage of its Plastic2Oil technology that can convert waste plastic into diesel and other liquid fuels.

The Colorcycle programme will be conducted throughout the US with participating schools, from kindergarten to 12th grade.

Under the scheme, students to responsibly dispose of used Crayola markers through an in-school collection process. The markers will be sent to JBI for processing.

As part of the agreement JBI will provide services to repurpose markers and Crayola materials contained in the programme. In addition, JBI is receiving waste and overruns from Crayola that are being used as additional feedstock.

Commenting on the initiative, JBI founder and chief of technology John Bordynuik said it was a unique opportunity.

"At JBI, we are committed to environmental sustainability by diverting plastic waste from landfills and potential incineration. We look forward to a relationship [with Crayola] that reduces the amount of plastic entering landfills, while also creating cleaner, lower sulphur fuels."

According to JBI, the emissions from its Plastic2Oil process are less than what a natural gas furnace of the same size would produce.

A stack test conducted in December 2012 confirmed that P2O emissions far exceeded the standards and criteria established by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

Maxine Perella


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