Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Company Letters: Crayola's Sidewalk Chalk Packaging

Previously, I had shared some responses to inquiries I made regarding products and packaging.

While many things have irked me since then, I felt compelled to write to Crayola about their packaging for their Sidewalk Chalk. It looked to be the greenest option as other chalk was packaged in plastic tubs which I know also have a foam insert on the bottom. So I chose Crayola's Sidewalk Chalk because it was packaged in a corrugated cardboard box, which is fully recyclable where I live. I was disappointed to discover that the box contained two rows of jumbo chalk, each one wrapped in plastic. Plastic sheets are not recyclable in my area, and probably not recyclable anywhere.  If they were recyclable this would still be less than ideal, as it's just way better to avoid one use disposable plastic.

Remembering our trip to the Crayola Factory in Easton, PA and the large display on their green efforts, I wrote them to inquire about their packaging. Below is the reply:

Thank you for your e-mail and for purchasing Crayola(R) Sidewalk Chalk.

I regret to learn of your disappointment with the way we packaged our Sidewalk Chalk.  We are grateful for your feedback, as it helps us understand how we can improve our products.  Your comments are valued and will be shared with our Outdoors team.

As the market leader in children’s creative expression products, Crayola believes it’s especially important to ensure today’s kids have a healthy environment for their future. It is also our priority to provide safe, high quality Crayola products. Our raw materials and finished products must adhere to high standards and pass strict screening tests.

We are continually evaluating opportunities to make our products and manufacturing process more environmentally friendly.  In fact, during our marker production, we reuse plastic scraps from our manufacturing process so that there is virtually no waste.

In 2010, our company began using solar power to manufacture one billion crayons annually.  This year, we will expand our solar farm, allowing Crayola markers made in the USA to be produced using power from the sun.  We will also continue to make all of our colored pencils from reforested wood, so no rainforests are destroyed.

We appreciate your recommendation to change the way we package our sidewalk chalk.  We are working to learn more and apply best practices to improve our company, Crayola products and the environment.

If additional assistance is needed, you may reach us by telephone at (800) 272-9652 weekdays between 9 AM and 4 PM Eastern Time or e-mail by visiting Crayola.com.

Best wishes for a colorful future!

Colorfully yours,

Deborah A. Lintvedt
Consumer Affairs Lead Representative

I'd really like to commend Crayola on their environmental efforts, I wish other children's toy manufactures would take heed, so let's hope they can continue to reduce their plastic use.

What products do you buy for your children that you would like to see become more environmentally friendly? Have you stopped buying certain items all together?

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