Plastic straws in focus. Now what about plastic pens?

Plastic straws in focus. Now what about plastic pens?

The global demand for ballpoint pens is estimated to be around 50 billion pens per annum. That's more than 6 pens for every single person on the planet.

BIC sells 20 million pens a day globally, including the best-selling ballpoint pen in the world, the "BIC Crystal". That's over 7 billion pens a year! Manufacturers in China produce approx. 40 billion ballpoint pens per annum, fulfilling 80% of the world's ballpoint pen demand.

In the UK, these plastic ballpoint pens cannot be recycled through roadside collections, so will end up in landfills. So what can you do to make a difference? One option is to use an alternative to plastic ballpoint pens, such as our recyclable paper pen, which replaces the plastic barrel and lid with ones made of paper. At the end of its useful life, the barrel and lid can be recycled with your other paper recycling, and the writing element can be recycled through The Writing Instruments Recycling Programme (details below).

The Writing Instruments Recycling Programme

The Writing Instruments Recycling Programme was established by BIC and Terracycle to ensure unwanted pens don't just end up in a landfill.

Collection points

There are currently 743 collection points across the UK where you can drop off your used pens / writing instruments to be recycled, helping to protect the environment. You can find your nearest collection point using the interactive map below.

The drop-off points are local schools, or locations acting on behalf of schools. The coordinator (or BIC Community Champion) will receive Terracycle points for each 15kg box of pens collected and will be able to redeem these points as cash for the school. Anyone can drop off their used pens with a local BIC Community Champion.

Before going to a BIC Community Champion location, if the contact details are listed, we recommend you call / email the person in charge of it, to check if the collection point is still active and if the opening hours are correct. 

Accepted products
Any pen, felt tip, highlighter, or marker can be recycled, along with correction fluid pots, correction tape and mechanical pencils. They don't have to be BIC products, they can be from any manufacturer.
Products not accepted
The recycling programme does not currently accept wooden pencils, chalk, glue sticks, erasers, rulers, scissors or other sharp objects.
What happens?
The writing instruments will be cleaned and melted down to remould into new products.