The Crayon Initiative News

Written by Bryan Ware
on August 29, 2023

The Crayon Initiative and Staples Support Children’s Hospitals Through Crayon Recycling Program

Customers Encouraged to Recycle Used Crayons at Staples Stores to Support Kids Facing Hospitalization

August 29, 2023 DANVILLE, Calif. – Today The Crayon Initiative announced a collaboration with Staples U.S. Retail to encourage customers to donate their used and unwanted crayons. Beginning today, all Staples retail stores will be accepting crayons as part of their free recycling program, which will be sent back to The Crayon Initiative for recycling and reuse.

The Crayon Initiative, a Bay Area non-profit, collects used and unwanted crayons donated from homes, restaurants, and schools across the country, then melts them down and remanufactures them, reducing environmental waste. The recycled crayons are then distributed to art programs at children’s hospitals across the U.S., brightening the lives of young patients during their stay.

“By working with Staples, we will be able to continue advancing our mission, reach, and impact on kids in hospitals across the country, said Bryan Ware, CEO The Crayon Initiative. “We believe the combination of The Crayon Initiative’s existing remanufacturing approach and Staples’ commitment to recycling will not only reduce waste but also bring happiness to hospitalized children through art and creative expression.”

Studies* have shown that art therapy can reduce heart rates, improve cognition, release endorphins, and alleviate stress. Kids and families experiencing extended hospitalization go through unsurmountable stress. However, kids at children’s hospitals who had access to art supplies experienced lower levels of stress than those who did not. The Crayon Initiative crayons are free and are often brought home by parents and kids’ post-hospital.

“Staples is proud to support The Crayon Initiative by providing physical locations across the country to recycle crayons, keeping them out of landfills while also providing young people with a much-needed creative outlet,” said Mike Sauchuk, Sr. Director of Recycling & Sustainability at Staples. “Staples’ free in store recycling programs, available at all of our stores, have recycled more than 165 million pounds of electronics and over 250 million Ink & Toner cartridges since 2012, and we are now excited to add another new recycling category to the list. Crayons are commonly recycled during the back to school shopping period so we are excited to be able to give back to children in need through our collaboration with The Crayon Initiative.”

To date, The Crayon Initiative has collected more than 380,906 pounds of crayons and donated more than 723,400 packs of crayons to 250+ hospitals across the U.S.

You can donate to help more sick children find joy through therapeutic art during the stress of hospitalization.

Sources: *Mathews Journal of Pediatrics