Crayola’s new take-back program spurred by elementary school kids online petition

Crayola's new take-back program was spurred by an online petition from elementary school students

Crayola’s new take-back program was spurred by an online petition from elementary school students. Photo by Thomas Hawk, flickr

Who ever said “no” is the final answer to any question?

After publicly insisting  “we do not have the facilities or a process that will enable us to offer a take-back program,” Crayola, the iconic crayon and marker maker, bowed to an online petition and has created ColorCycle. This innovative program converts used markers into a liquid fuel source.

The online petition was launched  last May by the “Green Team” at Sun Valley Elementary School in San Rafael, California, along with a video, asking the international crayon and marker manufacturer to create a take-back program for the millions of spent markers generated each year.  After being bombarded with 90,000 signatures, Crayola wrote to parent and Green Team adviser Land Wilson announcing it would coordinate the process of recovering used markers. Crayola’s competitor, Dixon Ticonderoga Company, has also started a marker recycling program.

“Seeing the expression on the students’ faces when they heard was priceless,” Wilson said in a statement.

“A year ago, they asked a company they love to step up and do the right thing. What’s happened since has reached beyond what we imagined possible: thousands of signatures on their Change.org petition, major media coverage, endorsements, all because a small group of elementary school students from San Rafael asked them to help make the world a healthier, safer place.”

Just another great case for speaking up making a powerful difference in the face of a corporate giant saying no. A great lesson for those who think they can’t change the world.

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