CRA unveils first fully compostable marker pens

Made from natural fibres, these new marker pens from the Carlo Ratti Association are entirely compostable and could eventually replace traditional, plastic highlighters.

Your local school arts and crafts box could be about to get a whole lot more environmentally friendly.

The Carlo Ratti Association (CRA) has revealed the world’s first fully compostable marker pens that are made from natural fibres and non-toxic, water based inks. Considering that the US alone throws out over 1.6 billion pens a year, a widespread adoption of eco-conscious craft materials could help to dramatically reduce the industry’s overall yearly carbon footprint.

This new invention is called the ‘Scribit’ pen and its ink is entirely edible, should you be into that sort of thing – no judgements here.

Every component will degrade when disposed of and each pen features a refillable barrel that comes in a variety of different materials; responsibly farmed wood, recycled aluminium, or biodegradable PHB plastic. Ink will also be available in eight different colours.

CRA says the product is technically still in development and won’t be available commercially for a while, but it’s committed to keeping the initial price within the realms of conventional, plastic options. This could be a big step toward helping the arts industry become more circular and less wasteful, and the sooner we swap out our toxic, single-use pens for alternative options the better.

Carlo Ratti, who led the Scribit Pen design team, says that this new product will ‘turn one of humankind’s primordial acts — drawing — into a fully sustainable one’. He also notes that we bin 35 billion plastic pens and markers into landfill globally every year. That’s a lot of unnecessary wastage.

It’s worth mentioning that CRA has developed several other innovative eco-friendly products in the past. Just last year it showed off a new sustainable orange juicer that prints bioplastic cups from leftover orange peels.

If you think that sounds too much like sci-fi fiction fantasy, see it in action for yourself below. Keep in mind that this probably uses more electricity than it’s worth, but the concept itself could be implemented into other areas of the hospitality industry with the right funding.

Reckon you’d bag one of these markers for yourself? You can learn more at the official Scribit website here. Fingers crossed they roll these out to purchase sooner rather than later.

They won’t improve your artistic skills but they will improve your carbon footprint, which is what it’s all about, right?

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