I recently purchased some new Crayola washable markers for the boys to use. I didn't even think anything when the package said it was made with recycled plastic. Hey, I'll all for helping the environment... ok lets get that one. What I didn't notice on the package was the fact that the marker barrel was black. This on it's own would not bother me EXCEPT there is no color bands on the black markers. What does this exactly mean? It means that it is impossible for you to tell the color unless the cap is on, or you can read the color words.
As a mother of young kiddos, I don't really want to devote that much time to finding the right marker cap. My sons clean up the markers on their own, but when they have the black, blue and purple caps off they can not figure out which cap goes on which marker. Now I have to stop, read the marker and put the caps back on myself.
If I was still teaching this would drive me even crazier. I always used community supplies (there were baskets in the middle of the table with the supplies needed at the table). This would mean that I'd have 3 or 4 sets of markers and now they would have a hard time figuring out which caps go where... yeah no thank you!
I recently sent Crayola an e-mail explaining my concerns about this change. Here is the reply that I received:
Thank you for your recent inquiry.
At Crayola, we are continually evaluating opportunities to make all Crayola(R) products and manufacturing processes more environmentally friendly. Switching to the recycled marker barrels, which are black, allows us to utilize recycled plastic from plastic bottle caps to make our markers. These black barrels are the combination of all different colored plastic bottle caps and allow more recycled plastic to be used, giving a second life to more than 1 million pounds of bottle caps. Switching to black barrels also keeps hundreds of tons of plastic out of landfills each year.
We appreciate your taking the time to express your dissatisfaction with the lack of color on the barrel, making it difficult to replace the marker cap on the appropriate marker. Your thoughts and concerns are important to us and will be shared with product management.
Again, thanks for contacting us to share your opinion about our new black marker barrels - we are always interested in your "colorful" feedback!
Consumer Affairs Representative
I see this as one of those issues that will not be addressed fully unless many parents/teachers and other concerned adults voice their opinions on this change. Not telling you what to do, but think about it, and me when you use markers with your kiddos next time.