Our on-going sustainability journey 

We are on an on-going sustainability journey.  From plastic free packaging to refillable pens, we’re working towards a greener way of writing and drawing. 

For us, sustainability isn’t about green-washing. As a company we’ve introduced a suite of green initiatives across our shipping, delivery, office and warehouse management in order to fulfil our sustainability goals.

Whether it’s providing an energy efficient, modern environment for our staff to work in, reducing single-use plastic packaging or designing products made with sustainable materials. We’re always thinking carefully about the impact we have on the world and how we can look after it for future generations.

Our Plastic Free Packaging

In summer 2019 we launched our plastic free packaging (PFP) on our key writing pen ranges. In just one year since introducing PFP we have seen a massive reduction in plastic, with 3395kg less plastic packaging used during 2020 – a reduction of around 77%. 

our on-going sustainability journey - plastic free PIN packaging

We’ve now extended our plastic free packaging to our PIN ranges. As well as this being a crucial step on our on-going sustainability journey we took the opportunity to streamline the packs on offer (meaning less iterations were printed – saving additional printing plates) and to promote artistic talent. We selected a range of calligraphers, illustrators and fine artists to show off the uni-PIN’s creative capabilities on the pack design. The result is a creative way of showcasing each PIN nib size and colour in the pack. 

About our Plastic Free Packaging

Every effort has been made from sourcing to manufacturing to ensure our plastic-free packaging reduces its carbon footprint. 

our on-going sustainability journey  - plastic free packaging

We’ve really considered all aspects of our Plastic Free Packaging (PFP) as part of our on-going sustainability journey.

As well as being plastic-free, the new packs are completely biodegradable and recyclable. The pack’s board is climate-neutral; made from 100% PEFC certified stock (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) – the world’s largest forest certification system for sustainable forest management. Inks are vegetable rather than mineral-based, the latter often being derived from fossil fuels.

The packs use a non-toxic, water-based blister varnish that does not affect composting or cause environmental damage. Plus its gloss UV Varnish uses energy-efficient UV light to finish. The result? Fantastic looking packaging that’s completely recyclable, biodegradable and compostable.

The production of our PFP is more energy efficient too. We use chemical-free Kodak computer-to-plate technology with a direct dampening system that enables non-alcohol printing using the minimum amount of water. The packaging is printed using the Komori Press, which boasts one of the shortest press set-up available anywhere. This significantly cuts paper and water waste while vastly reducing the use of press consumables. Have a look at the film below to find out the story behind our PFP.

As well as reducing the consumption of single use plastics, our PFP has another environmental advantage. PFP is slimmer. This means you can fit more product in the same amount of space. The result? Saving 30% space on average, this means fewer deliveries are needed. It’s a smart solution for transportation.

We’ll be rolling out our PFP on our POSCA and uni-Chalk ranges this year – watch this space!

Our Refill Collection 

There is no getting away from the fact that our pens are made with plastics. While they are certainly not single use, we still want to minimise our environmental impact. So, in order to reduce overall plastic, we’ve made refills part of our on-going sustainability journey. 

Uni-ball refill pens

Available in environmentally friendly plastic-free, biodegradable and recyclable packs, the refill sets include two fully working pens and two additional refills for the Gel Impact, Vision Elite, JetStream and SIGNO 207 Rollerball ranges. These specially designed packs provide an all-in-one solution and means no more hunting around for the correct refill for a specific pen.

refillable pens our on-going sustainability journey

uni-ball refill packs effectively double the lifespan of the pens; reducing the need for more plastic consumption. The all-in-one package is a convenient buy and an easy way to go green.

Simply make one purchase, use the pens, and refill without compromising on the quality of your handwriting.

A greener way of working

We’ve reduced our carbon footprint by increasing our direct shipping from Japan to 95%. As a result fewer miles are covered. We’ve optimised our pack sizing to make full use of our boxes. Consequently this has resulted in increased capacity on pallets and more volume of product per square footage, thus making the most of our space. This reduces waste and unnecessary transport. Plus, instead of using plastic bubble wrap, we recycle, using 90% of shredded paper from our office to protect our products. 

uni-ball refillable pens

As well as establishing best practice, we’ve made investments in our UK offices too. We have new machinery that prints directly onto our shipping boxes. This virtually eliminates the need for additional labels that are hard to recycle and normally sent to landfill. Our central office is run by solar power, which not only neutralises our energy bills but also allows us to gift our excess to charity. Even our warehouse forklifts are electrically charged. 

We have big ambitions for the future and you’ll be hearing more about those soon. Watch this space as we update you on important milestones we’ve reached plus our new community and green initiatives.