It's easy to see why the disposable pen makes a worthy addition to any list of wasteful things you can live without. One need only look at Chris Jordan's striking images of dead albatrosses, their insides riddled with snarls of plastic detritus, to be reminded of the tragic fallout of our disposable culture. But if working within the paradigm of the disposable pen is a credible endeavor, New York-based design firm DBA seems to have outdone themselves.
The DBA 98 biodegradable pen is 98% bioplastic, is manufactured at a wind-powered factory, and its packaging is 100% post consumer. Even the ink avoids toxic ingredients.
Not too shabby. The exterior casing of the pen is made from a potato-based plastic that is free of genetically modified organisms. The reservoir is made from a "renewable, biodegradable fiber," and the ink is composed of a few simple ingredient: water, non-toxic pigments, glycerin (a food-grade sugar alcohol), and sodium benzoate (a food-grade preservative)."
As for the factory where the pens are made, Harbec is in Upstate New York and is powered by an on-site wind turbine, exceeds ISO 14001 standards, and runs some of the most efficient equipment around. "Harbec also uses a full fleet of hybrid and zero-emission vehicles and innovative rain water-assisted cooling systems." Anyone up for a factory tour?
Keep an eye out for DBA's forthcoming line of additional products, including a space heater, neato dishrack, and dehumidifier. Their Muji-esq quills will be sold at the Cooper-Hewitt design store, Project No. 8a in The Ace Hotel, and a growing list of locations.