Sustainability isn’t about green-washing. We simply normalise green choices. Giving you a choice of great quality products that care about our planet. We’ve considered every aspect of our processes to ensure we’re as green as we can be.
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.
Eye Ocean Care pen
This year we have launched our innovative Eye Ocean Care pen. The uni-ball Eye Ocean Care is the sustainable future of handwriting. The pen is made with 75% recycled plastics, 10% of which are harvested from the ocean.
This new uni-ball Eye range reduces the reliance on raw materials, keeping virgin plastic use to an absolute minimum. Another part of uni-ball’s sustainability journey.
The new Eye pens are made with 70% recycled plastics, 10% of which are harvested from ocean waste washed up on the coast of Tsushima.
The island of Tsushima has the biggest volume of ocean waste in Japan. Up to now, this ocean waste has been transported to the mainland in order to incinerate or place in landfill. Now using it to manufacture our Ocean Care pen. In doing so, uni-ball is helping to reduce marine pollution, protect the island’s wildlife and nature, and decrease the volume of CO2 emissions and landfill.
There is also another benefit with the Ocean Care pen. Some recycled products produce more rather than less CO2 in its production and manufacture. Minimising the possible environmental benefit of the product. However the Ocean Care pen actually uses less CO2 . We have improved our procurement, assembling, packaging and transportation methods to reduce the overall CO2 impact in the pens’ production by over 10% compared to the original uni-ball Eye pen.
Find out more about the pen in the video below
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% .
We’ve now extended our plastic free packaging to our PIN ranges. As well as this expansion 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). We selected a range of calligraphers, illustrators and fine artists to show off the uni-PIN’s creative capabilities on the pack design.
About our Plastic Free Packaging
Every effort has been made from sourcing to manufacturing to ensure our plastic-free packaging reduces its carbon footprint.
We’ve really considered all aspects of our Plastic Free Packaging (PFP) as part of uni-ball’s 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, so 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.
Our Refill Collection
There is no getting away from the fact that most of our pens are made with plastics. And 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 uni-ball’s sustainability journey.
Available in 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. It also means no more hunting around for the correct refill for a specific pen.
Our 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%, meaning fewer miles are covered. We’ve optimised our pack sizing to make full use of our boxes. This has resulted in increased capacity on pallets and more volume of product per square footage. As a result we’ve made the most of our space, reducing 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.
We have big ambitions for the future. Watch this space as we update you on important milestones we’ve reached plus our new community and green initiatives.