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Young World

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Save the earth

VINOD EKBOTE

Do you care about the environment?

Photo: P. V. Sivakumar

The fountain pen: For guilt-free writing.

We may not realise it but some of our seemingly mundane activities actually cause harm to the environment. Take for instance, writing with a plastic ballpoint pen. Plastic is not biodegradable and hence is an environmental hazard. When plastic is burnt it releases toxic fumes into the air that can cause cancer.

Too much plastic

Assuming that an average student changes the refill in his ballpoint pen once a month it means 12 refills a year. No student uses the same pen all year, as it breaks easily and is also easily misplaced or lost. If we assume that a student buys a new ballpoint pen, every three months then it is four plastic ballpoint pens every year. It means a total of 12 plastic refills, four plastic ballpoint pens a year per student. Of course, the plastic packaging these refills and pens come in is a separate component itself.

Assuming 100 million out of the 150 million students use plastic ballpoint pens then we have something like a billion plastic ballpoint pens, ten billion refills and their wrappers!

But all is not lost. There is an alternative — the fountain pen.

A fountain pen uses only ink. The ink comes in glass bottles. The glass bottle comes in cardboard packing. The glass bottle can be recycled.

So using a fountain pen to write means no plastic ballpoint pen bodies, no plastic refills and no plastic wrappers either. These advantages make the good old fountain pen the perfect eco-friendly writing instrument of choice.

So, if you are really concerned about saving the environment, throw away your plastic ballpoint pen and go for a fountain pen today.

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