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Writing Instruments And Single-Use Plastics


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#21 TSherbs

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Posted 23 February 2018 - 02:52

We wouldn't be recycling if government didn't mandate it. 

 

I know that you made other points, and I agree that we are, basically, a disposable consumer economy.

 

But I am not included in that "we" above, and my parents and my wife and I recycle religiously. We are even pains in the butts about it and proselytize when we visit other folks in other states where recycling is not easily available or practiced. And there are plenty of other folks like us. We even bring home trash from work (where it won't be recycled) so that we can recycle it. We think, in addition to national service, every citizen should be required to haul their own trash to transfer stations in order to confront the "truth" of their trash. I know it's crazy, but there it is. There is another group of "we" that thinks quite differently. 



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#22 MYU

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Posted 23 February 2018 - 06:14

 

I know that you made other points, and I agree that we are, basically, a disposable consumer economy.

 

But I am not included in that "we" above, and my parents and my wife and I recycle religiously. We are even pains in the butts about it and proselytize when we visit other folks in other states where recycling is not easily available or practiced. And there are plenty of other folks like us. We even bring home trash from work (where it won't be recycled) so that we can recycle it. We think, in addition to national service, every citizen should be required to haul their own trash to transfer stations in order to confront the "truth" of their trash. I know it's crazy, but there it is. There is another group of "we" that thinks quite differently. 

 

I think it's very admirable.  Especially when you have a reliable conduit for getting your trash recycled.  There are many places where recycling takes place, but you come to discover that it's not quite as thorough as you'd hoped (a lot of waste in the process so percentage reclamation is poor).

 

I go to the bulk bins at places like Whole Foods and enjoy being able to measure out exactly how much I want of something and putting it in a thin biodegradable bag, instead of taking away all that plastic and cardboard that typically comes with packaged products.  But, this also requires good stewardship from the customers.  I've seen some places with bulk bins where people have abused it... allowing food to carelessly leak or slip out and make a mess.  I've even seen people just outright eat from the containers.  It really makes you wonder about some of the deficient parenting out there which can raise people lacking so badly in moral character.

 

The self-absorbed attitude and "winner take all" approach that has been given license to be admired in the movies and TV is part of the problem... in addition to those high profile people caught doing wrong getting off with light fines and/or sentences.  It has sent the wrong message.

 

But I'm hopeful that someday the tide will turn.  It's just painful to think that things must get worse before they get better.


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#23 bluebellrose

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Posted 23 February 2018 - 10:01

They should follow the Chinese model. Out west here in Canada, juice containers, soda cans and bottles, wine, beer, spirit bottles have deposits. In China, even broken glass can be recycled. They pay you pennies on the dollar for kg you haul in. You get more if it's a undamaged glass bottle. They used to just take old alcohol beverage bottles, pass them out to people to wash them. That's energy saving at the finest because it takes more energy to recycle it into new bottles. It's more environmentally friendly to wash them and then reuse the bottles as is. That was my geo prof's number one complaint about recycling all those glass bottles these days.

 

They pay people to recycle old newspapers, cardboard at depots. i.e x amount of dollars for x tonnage hauled in. They've been doing this for ages lol and they are still doing it to hear my relatives talk. Give people an incentive to haul stuff to the recycle depot like money and you'll have people flocking to do it. There's literally no newspapers flying around in the trash in Hong Kong because people are paid to keep their newspapers and bring it to them.


Edited by bluebellrose, 23 February 2018 - 10:39.


#24 bluebellrose

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Posted 23 February 2018 - 12:03

Have you looked into Noodler's pens and inks? Mr. Nathan takes it as a point of pride to design his pens to last as long as possible, and using vegetal resin (i don't know how biodegradable it is, but it's not petroleum, and it's not meant to be disposed of anyway), and ebonite (rubber). He had refillable highlighters and rollerballs. I don't know if still available, they're very niche.




And his inks deliberately in recyclable glass, not plastic (except for a bottle shortage) His inks are also very potent and easily diluted, if you're really stingy, you can make one little bottle last a lifetime.


Still, I don't think the single-use nature of pens is itself a problem. I don't know of anyone that actually finishes a pen and throws it away. They're always lost or dried up long before that. I've lost, say 3, fountain pens, but only used up one ball point to empty.

Rather, it's the worthlessness of mass produced items. It's cheaper to get a new one than to reuse. We wouldn't be recycling if government didn't mandate it. We're a disposable society. I don't mean just recent generations. My parents and grandparents, yes they'd use pencils to the stub. But meanwhile, they'd also buy and collect dozens more for a rainy day that never comes, to just rot.

And that's the Western culture for you. The eastern culture is less wasteful.

 

Thanks for keeping this going. I agree that pens are a small (but I'd bet surprisingly larger than we'd guess) component of the waste stream. I'm also aware of micro-beads and thanks for directing attention to that matter. Even if pens are a small part of the overall problem I persist here, probably because I would like my hobby to be relatively benign.

 

On the other hand if one were to point out that I have many more pens than I'll ever need I'd plead, "Guilty as Charged." I am trying to  get myself to say, "You [I] have many more pens than needed and even a new attractive model appears I don't need it!" (And what does that imply for our favorite suppliers of pens?)

 

We seem to agree that fountain pens are the winners here but as much as I like them, I find that they don't fill all my needs. This gets me back into the world of ball points, gel pens and roller balls where the matter of single-use plastics is hard to avoid.

That's where refills come in lol. It's not very hard to avoid.



#25 Corona688

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Posted 23 February 2018 - 13:52

And that's the Western culture for you. The eastern culture is less wasteful.


*cough*chopsticks*cough*

That's where refills come in lol. It's not very hard to avoid.

"refill" means "throw away and replace all functional parts plus the ink container" for ballpoints and a lot of rollerballs. They're really not refills in any sense except marketing.

#26 EBUCKTHORN

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Posted 23 February 2018 - 15:26

I've just posted the following in a related thread about the Pilot V5 Disposable Pen:

 

I'm gratified that this [thread] has been generating some very thoughtful and potentially helpful responses. Here's an excerpt from an email from a Jet Pens employee with reference to using other than replaceable cartridges to refill the V5 & V7 Hi-Tecpoint Cartridge system pens:

 

"Unfortunately, I haven't heard of anyone testing how many refills the Hi-Tecpoint pens can last through before the tip wears out.
You can also use bottled fountain pen ink to refill the Hi-Tecpoint cartridges, and you can even use a Pilot Con-40 fountain pen converter instead.
https://www.jetpens....verter/pd/16562
The only trouble with refilling a Hi-Tecpoint with bottled ink is that the pen comes with the original cartridge already installed. Because of this, you would need to very thoroughly clean out the original ink from the grip section before installing the bottled ink. Otherwise, the two inks could interact inside the grip section, causing sludge or sediment to form inside the pen and clog it.
Additionally, because the Hi-Tecpoint lays down a thinner layer of ink than a fountain pen, any fountain pen ink you put in it will appear less saturated from the Hi-Tecpoint than it does from a fountain pen. So make sure to keep this in mind when choosing a bottled ink and pick one that looks a bit more saturated than you would like it to look like when using it in the Hi-Tecpoint."

 

This was part of a series of very thorough responses from this employee-messages that were much more substantial than I'd ever hoped to receive. As I've said I have no connection with Jet and I know there are other helpful online sellers (Goulet, for example-again no connection) but I've been extremely satisfied with communication from Jet.

 

I've been encountering new articles about plastic pollution almost daily and agree with the comment in the other thread that  recycling is not a panacea. I also want to assure everyone that our concern about  discarded plastic from pens and pen refills is far from the largest part of the problem but it certainly is at least symbolic.

 

I believe we can agree that fountain pens and mechanical pencils are the best solutions in terms of minimum discards but that does leave out the whole spectrum of ball tip writing instruments. We can also agree that fewer is better, but that runs counter to the acquisitiveness that has become ingrained in our minds being that we're immersed in a culture based on consumption.



#27 bluebellrose

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Posted 23 February 2018 - 22:29

I've just posted the following in a related thread about the Pilot V5 Disposable Pen:
 
I'm gratified that this [thread] has been generating some very thoughtful and potentially helpful responses. Here's an excerpt from an email from a Jet Pens employee with reference to using other than replaceable cartridges to refill the V5 & V7 Hi-Tecpoint Cartridge system pens:
 
"Unfortunately, I haven't heard of anyone testing how many refills the Hi-Tecpoint pens can last through before the tip wears out.
You can also use bottled fountain pen ink to refill the Hi-Tecpoint cartridges, and you can even use a Pilot Con-40 fountain pen converter instead.
https://www.jetpens....verter/pd/16562
The only trouble with refilling a Hi-Tecpoint with bottled ink is that the pen comes with the original cartridge already installed. Because of this, you would need to very thoroughly clean out the original ink from the grip section before installing the bottled ink. Otherwise, the two inks could interact inside the grip section, causing sludge or sediment to form inside the pen and clog it.
Additionally, because the Hi-Tecpoint lays down a thinner layer of ink than a fountain pen, any fountain pen ink you put in it will appear less saturated from the Hi-Tecpoint than it does from a fountain pen. So make sure to keep this in mind when choosing a bottled ink and pick one that looks a bit more saturated than you would like it to look like when using it in the Hi-Tecpoint."
 
This was part of a series of very thorough responses from this employee-messages that were much more substantial than I'd ever hoped to receive. As I've said I have no connection with Jet and I know there are other helpful online sellers (Goulet, for example-again no connection) but I've been extremely satisfied with communication from Jet.
 
I've been encountering new articles about plastic pollution almost daily and agree with the comment in the other thread that  recycling is not a panacea. I also want to assure everyone that our concern about  discarded plastic from pens and pen refills is far from the largest part of the problem but it certainly is at least symbolic.
 
I believe we can agree that fountain pens and mechanical pencils are the best solutions in terms of minimum discards but that does leave out the whole spectrum of ball tip writing instruments. We can also agree that fewer is better, but that runs counter to the acquisitiveness that has become ingrained in our minds being that we're immersed in a culture based on consumption.

it's the best option out there currently in my market for using rollerballs. However i would argue that the v7 ink bleeds though while the platinum black fp ink doesn't bleed though in a 0.3 preppy.
That being said, I did request an official rollerball preppy line that takes fp ink with replaceable tips from platinum.
And it's probably a disclaimer from Jetpens to warn off stupidity and cover their ass. I thought it was common sense on fpn to thoughly Clean out the pen before changing inks.

Also where does the jetpens.com people think where people have been getting their preppy rollerball tips? Out of thin air? By stealing the pilot tips of dead rollerballs. And so I'm not deterred. Still going to keep with my plan.

Edited by bluebellrose, 24 February 2018 - 09:46.


#28 kaissa

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Posted 24 February 2018 - 06:30

As writing instruments go, ballpoints are the biggest offenders by far. We get given far more pens than we'll ever be able to use. It's not even a question of supply and demand any more, just advertising. Since they're rarely bought, they're rarely of quality worth refilling, if refills are available at all.

 

 There are refills for these types of pens. Most used types of ballpoint refills used are G2 (Parker types), A1 and A2. Schneider seems to be the one that produces a lot for different types of refills:

 

https://schneiderpen...nt-pen-refills/

 

  I try to avoid getting these types of ballpoint pens as much as possible. But sometimes there are really nice made models, mostly made by Senator. I keep and happily use them. For pens that come to my house through other ways, I immediately take them to work and gives to collegaues who use them. I am almost sure that they go to the bin.

 

  I try to get people use refillable pens but for majority it is a small detail not worth spending time on it. It is like these large computer companies that makes different and incompatible sizes of toners for the printers. Once they stop producing that toner after some years, you end up disposing a perfectly working printer. But these same companies get environmental certifications, advertise themselves as eco-friendly and collect back toners (how much of they make is actually collected percentagewise is another thing). So what they preach and what they do is different just like some people I know who call themselves environmentals and don't mine using these promotional pens.

 

  If you end up purchasing ballpoint refills, try to get metal ones. They seem to hold more ink:

 

http://ewima-isz.de/...n_englisch.pdf


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#29 Corona688

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Posted 24 February 2018 - 15:03

It is like these large computer companies that makes different and incompatible sizes of toners for the printers. Once they stop producing that toner after some years, you end up disposing a perfectly working printer.

Ugh. We had an old HP whose one and only flaw was broken Windows 7 drivers. That has to have been on purpose - it's not so easy to ruin a working driver. It'd been used daily for 10 years, broke once but easily fixed by a $10 part, then quietly end-of-lifed. We gave it to a lady who still uses Windows 2000 and it's still cranking...

Now we've got a printer that's identical in every way except a wireless feature we don't use, and new, special, chipped cartridges. *sigh*

Edited by Corona688, 24 February 2018 - 15:05.


#30 EBUCKTHORN

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Posted 24 February 2018 - 17:07

kaissa: Thanks for that very useful link! (http://ewima-isz.de/...n_englisch.pdf)



#31 EBUCKTHORN

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Posted 24 February 2018 - 17:14

To put things into perspective just ONE company, Senator, claims to produce 1,070,036 pens PER DAY!  (This is not meant to be a criticism of Senator, just using their website as a handy source of information)



#32 JD-Be

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 09:47

Me too, I try to stick to my (old) fountainpens, ballpoints (Parker jotters) metal with metal fillers and mechanical pencils. That's what we can do as individual, beside we can recycle at Staples (not in Belgium ..). And avoid to accept all those cheap advertising ballpoints.

 

Same watches: I wear mostly my Seiko 5's, mechanical automatic, runs 30 years, doesn't need batteries.



#33 bluebellrose

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Posted 26 February 2018 - 11:33

Convert more people to the fp world!

#34 Mech-for-i

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Posted 27 February 2018 - 21:08

I no longer use or buy any singke use pen and that had been for decades ... Therre is no need to. Many stationary supply will happily supply you with refills.

#35 inkstainedruth

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Posted 27 February 2018 - 21:48

This is an interesting and thoughtful thread, especially after getting a lot of empty water/soda/Gatorade bottles out of the car and into the recycling bin (my town does curbside pickup of cans, bottles, #s 1-5 plastics, and newspapers every other week).   A friend of mine who has a PhD in chemistry worked for a while for a plastics company who was looking into biodegradable plastic utensils, but I don't know whether you would want that for a pen (I think that is sort of the idea behind the Noodler's vegetal resin, but I also know that people complain that ink dries up in them; I don't know how the Noodler's acrylic pens (or anyone else's for that matter) compares in that regard.  

Certainly a lot to think about.

@ Corona688 -- That sounds a lot like silverpoint drawings.  I've always wanted to find someone who will fashion me a piece of silver the shape and length of one of the leads for my Berol Turquoise.  :rolleyes:

@ bluebellrose -- The problem with sugarcane paper seems to be the production costs.  I can no longer easily get the sugarcane paper composition books at my local Staples (and even when they *were* available, they were a lot more expensive -- A lot of people are going to say "I can get normal paper ones for 50¢ during back to school sales -- why should I pay $3-4 for one?"  (Although I'm now wondering if the added costs are partly due to the strength of cotton growers and processors -- as well as clothing manufacturers -- in the US as a lobbying group (ask me sometime about the woman who grew organic, naturally colored cotton  :(). 

As for your later post about washing and reusing bottles -- that works for glass (assuming that the bottles/caps have been cleaned/sterilized properly).  But for plastic bottles?  You have to be careful.  (The little SafServ card in my wallet is reminding me that I might need to get my food safety recertification in a year or two -- even though I'm not doing the annual sideline business thing this year: after tornado warnings two years ago and wearing about 6 layers of clothing in an attempt to stay warm last year, I told my husband I wasn't making enough money to want to be part of *his* "midlife crisis" any more....)

@ JakobS -- While I have (and will likely continue to buy) new fountain pens, I do have a lot of vintage ones.  I like that I'm saving them from being thrown in a landfill, and, truthfully, I often think the nibs are better (as long as the tipping is still good).

@ wallylynn -- My parents and mother-in-law grew up during the Depression.  Stuff got saved and reused.  Old clothes (even ones in poor condition) went to Goodwill (my mother figured they could be used as rags, if nothing else).  But I don't think they ever thought twice about throwing ballpoints away when the pens were dead.  

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#36 Corona688

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Posted 27 February 2018 - 23:46

@ Corona688 -- That sounds a lot like silverpoint drawings.  I've always wanted to find someone who will fashion me a piece of silver the shape and length of one of the leads for my Berol Turquoise.  :rolleyes:

For serious? They exist, if 2mm is the right size: silverpointweb

#37 Inkling13

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Posted 27 February 2018 - 23:59

For serious? They exist, if 2mm is the right size: silverpointweb

Any serious jeweler can supply you with something that would work, or even RioGrande for jewelry and metalworking supplies can be a source of silver wire. You're just looking for the right gauge wire. 



#38 bluebellrose

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Posted 28 February 2018 - 19:35

@inkstainedruth they only did it for alcohol beverage bottles. Everything else went in for further recycling, i.e to be melted into new bottles.



#39 Astron

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Posted 28 February 2018 - 20:30

And that's the Western culture for you. The eastern culture is less wasteful.

The great trash vortices in the Pacific and Indian Ocean tell us another story.


» Oh, yeah. Oooh, ahhh, that's how it always starts. But then later there's running and... and screaming. «

#40 inkstainedruth

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Posted 28 February 2018 - 21:03

For serious? They exist, if 2mm is the right size: silverpointweb

 

OOOOOH! 

Thanks for the heads up -- I didn't know about this website.  And the sterling is actually affordable.... I didn't bother to look at the gold because I'm just bemused by the concept -- after all, one of the things that makes gold so valuable is that it's both malleable and inert (as opposed to silver, which of course tarnishes, and the line you're making is actually the silver oxidizing).

Website URL is now in the file of links I want to keep track of!

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"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."






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