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Don’t Bin it. Refill it this World Refill Day, Sunday 16 June.

Eco Voice
Eco Voice
First published in 2003, Eco Voice is your go-to publication for sustainability news in Australia. Eco Voice prides itself as an independent news platform with a clear focus on sustainability, with articles coming from a diverse range of contributors – all levels of government, corporations, not-for-profits, community groups, small to medium sized businesses, universities, research organisations, together with input from international sources. Eco Voice values community, conservation and commerce. Eco Voice is a media partner of the prestigious Australian Banksia Sustainability Awards – The Peak Sustainability Awards.

Sunday 16 June is World Refill Day – a global initiative to encourage people to get behind refilling in a bid to reduce the estimated 240 million tonnes of plastic waste that is produced each year.  The campaign is designed to accelerate the transition away from single use plastic towards refill and reuse systems.

While many Australians are refilling coffee cups, water bottles and re-using shopping bags, research suggests a reluctance to switch onto refilling other items.

A recent survey conducted by Pilot Pen Australia, found that 87 per cent of office workers are aware that their everyday plastic writing pens can be refilled but only 50 per cent actually do so.

“With the average office worker using fifteen pens and markers per year, in a company of 100 employees, that works out to be approximately 1,500 plastic pens and markers that are going straight into landfill, which is obviously not desirable, not to mention the missed opportunity to save some money,” said Mr Jarrad Murray, head of marketing, Pilot Pen Australia.

“If we can refill water, coffee cups and mechanical pencils, then why not pens?” he added.

Part of the problem says psychotherapist Eugenie Pepper, is that people find it difficult to change habits, even though they want to.

“Changing habits takes time and effort.  Consistency is the key, so my advice is to clearly define what sustainable habits you want to adopt and then repeat the behaviour until it becomes automatic.”

To encourage pen refilling, Pilot Pen has introduced a refill finder to its website to allow people to match their pen to the right refill, together with an online calculator that can predict the cost and carbon footprint savings of refilling, so people can see the positive impact they’re making.

“Our calculator shows that by refilling just one pen, you can reduce its carbon emissions by 40 per cent and plastic use by 31 per cent – the equivalent of 49 kilometres or 30 plastic bottles, not to mention the cost savings. Multiply this by 100 pens and this increases to the equivalent of over 3,000 plastic bottles,” said Jarrad.

“We hope to encourage everyone to start refilling their pens to help keep them out of landfill and on their desk or in their pocket,” he added. To find a refill, visit:

World Refill Day is a global public awareness campaign on June 16 designed to accelerate the transition away from single-use plastic and towards reuse systems. Pilot Pen is the largest pen manufacturer in Japan and has subsidiaries throughout the world, including Australia.  For further information, visit:


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