Assemblymember Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) honored students from Sun Valley Elementary School in recognition of their successful effort to urge the makers of felt-tip markers to develop a recycling program for their products.
The students, after learning about plastic pollution in a lunchtime club called “Kids Who Care” – a project of Sun Valley’s “Green Team” – started an online campaign on Change.org asking Crayola to establish a recycling program for the half a billion plastic markers the company produces each year.
In August, after nearly 84,000 people across the country had signed the petition, global art supply company, Dixon Ticonderoga, announced a massive recycling project in response to the Change.org petition.
Dixon Ticonderoga’s new initiative creates a recycling program for the company’s line of Prang Art Markers and allows schools to join a program to mail markers – free of charge – back to Dixon Ticonderoga for recycling.
“The innovative ‘Kids Who Care’ campaign has inspired Dixon Ticonderoga to reduce its ecological footprint and conduct business in an environmentally responsible manner,” Huffman said. “I hope others in the industry will follow their example.”
In a press release, Timothy Gomez, chief executive officer of Dixon Ticonderoga, stated, “This shows that even one classroom can change the way a global company does business.” Gomez met with the students to thank them for the campaign that inspired their recycling program and provided a year’s supply of Prang Art Markers to the school.
“Kids Who Care” is led by parent volunteer and environmental children’s author, Land Wilson of San Rafael. The group started with 40 students last spring ranging from 7 to 11 years of age and has grown to 65 students this fall.
Back in May, Crayola told reporters that the company had no plans to create a recycling program due to a “lack of facilities and process.”
“We didn’t expect to get this much attention,” said Wilson. “It’s taken us all by surprise. But after learning how many plastic products end up in landfills, incinerators, and our oceans, these students decided to take action and ask this major international company to help. I am so proud of what these students have done.”
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