Some Interesting Facts:

  • In USA, Bic announced on September 8th, 2005 that they had sold their 100,000,000,000th (that’s 100 billionth) “disposable” plastic pen since 1950 – That’s 57 pens every second of every day.

  • Global market for writing pens is estimated at 1600 to 2400 million pieces a year. By value, the total market for writing instruments is estimated at Rs 22 billion and is growing at around 8 to 9% annually.

  • The manufacturers who produce these pens admit that their “products are generally not designed to be recycled”, as the singular product is not significant enough in weight and volume to be considered recyclable (Societe BIC, 2005). It begs the question ‘where are they all now?


Pen Pals is a waste upcycling project where used pens are collected from the source to develop utility products through design interventions which can be used in offices, homes and public places. Upcycling would prevent wasting potentially useful materials like wood, new plastic, by making use of already used materials. The project aims at creating a sustainable business model for upcycled products.

A wide range of utility products were designed and introduced under this project, using waste pens as raw material, which has never  been tried before. Around 10,000 waste pens were upcycled in making 36 products and exhibited at public forum. An overwhelming response and demand has been generated promising the success of the project. Following are some of the popular products which generated overwhelming response from visitors.

PEN PALS Products