What color marker are you?

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:

Dear Lori,

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!

Colorfully yours,

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.



  1. that is odd...you would think they could at least put a color band on it!

  2. Good for you in sending them a letter! I think if more people did that then eventually things would get better and little problems would hopefully be fixed!

  3. I always send letters. That kind of sounded like the response that my 9 year old got from Justice when she wrote them a concerned letter. a in other words "we aren't going to change anything letter". I hate those.
    They could atleast put the color on the end of the plastic instead of making the whole thing black. I wonder if you told them you were switching to Rose art if the letter would have been any different. LOL

  4. Now that is frustrating!!
    Yep...those markers will not be in any classrooms in the near future...or in many homes once the public figures the packaging out!
    We have never seen those but we will avoid them when we do!:)
    Enjoy the day

  5. That is interesting. I love what they are trying to do but lack of color seems ironic considering the product. Someone creative needs to figure out a solution. There's got to be one!

  6. Weird. It's great that they are using recycled products but there must be some "colourful" solution to the problem!

  7. I thought the same thing! Not very kid, teacher or parent friendly. But it's a great step in the right direction to be more Earth friendly. Let's hope they get this fixed, and I bet they will....seems like an easy fix! And go you for speaking up!

  8. Hmmmm. Not a bright idea. But you can take blank address labels and have the kids color them and affix them to the coordinating markers. Even the caps can have their own sticker so that they can put the caps on themselves.


    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!! I had tears and angers within 25 min of playing with the markers for the same reason!!!

    I also called and emailed them!!!


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