Tag Archives: Biodegradable

Paper Mate Biodegradable Pens and Mechanical Pencils

Papermate biodegradable pens

I just got back from a walk in the park. It was a beautiful day and the walk was lovely, but I was a bit dismayed to see litter on the ground – especially plastic litter. That’s because plastic typically takes so long to decompose that the trash will be around for a long time, perhaps posing some danger to animals and certainly making the environment less attractive.

That’s why I was happy to see these new biodegradable pens from Paper Mate. I’m not encouraging anyone to litter, but it’s heartening to know that if someone does leave this pen in the great outdoors, at least the body of these pens is made from a corn-based material that can biodegrade in soil or compose within about one year (according to the manufacturer).

Even better, the pens come in recyclable paper packaging. And on the back of the package is a handy diagram showing how to disassemble the pen when it reaches the end of its useful life, which components should go in the trash and which can be composted.

It’s not often that you buy a product that specifically asks you to ‘dispose of these in yard soil or home compost’, but that’s the advice here from the manufacturer.

Plus it’s nice to know that the pen’s packaging is made from a renewable resource (corn) rather than from a petroleum base.

FYI, Paper Mate also makes a nifty biodegradable pencil.

In terms of quality, I have to say that I think these pens and pencils are very comfortable to hold and seem well built. They’re also affordable and attractive. In my opinion, the writing quality is even better than a more expensive (non-biodegradable) Parker pen that I bought recently.

Bravo to Paper Mate. I’d say this is a Green home run.

Where to Buy:

Amazon.com sells 4-packs of the Paper Mate Biodegradable Pens for $6.99. You can also get a 2-pack for $3.59.

As for the mechanical pencils, you can find a 2-pack of those for $5.99 at Office Depot.

Disclaimer – Paper Mate did give me some biodegradable pens and pencils for testing purposes.

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EconoGreen Plastics(TM) bags

Looking for an eco-friendly alternative to your typical plastic trash bag? Check out the line of EconoGreen Plastics bags (and dropcloths) from the whimsically named Jig-A-Loo company.

Jig-A-Loo claims the bags are made from 100% recycled plastic and that they will completely biodegrade leaving “no harmful residue or toxins” in about two years in the environment. (Traditional plastic bags might take up to 1,000 years to degrade in the environment, according to one source I found.)

For a good analysis of the pros and cons of biodegradable plastic bags, check out this article at Natural-Environment.com.

As far as I’m concerned, if you have a choice, it’s typically better to pick a product that’s made from recycled materials and biodegrades as quickly as possible. On both counts, EconoGreen Plastics bags seem to fit the bill.

Incidentally, the bags are also made in North America. For U.S. Consumers, that means fewer resources were used to transport the bags from point of manufacture to point of sale.

Where to Buy – Use the Store Locator on the Jig-A-Loo website to find a retail location near you. You can also buy through the Jig-A-Loo website ($3.99 for 30 tall kitchen bags).

Disclaimer – Jig-A-Loo sent me a free package of EconoGreen bags to review.