UBC Undergraduate Research

An investigation into waste reducing vending machine pens, pencils, and highlighters Pehlke, Trent; Schaap, Richard; Knudson, Kurt


As a part of the new UBC SUB project, the AMS is implementing a waste-reducing vending machine. This machine will offer students reusable products, such as coffee cups, cutlery, and office supplies. This report assesses the feasibility of stocking refillable office supplies; specifically pens, pencils, and highlighters. The analysis is done using a triple bottom line assessment, looking at the social, environmental, and economic impacts of stocking such supplies. For the social analysis, a survey was conducted that presented students with a collection of refillable school supplies and students were asked to choose their favourites. Information into the product’s recycled content and cost were given to help aid the decision. The environmental analysis compared manufactures and specific models of supplies for the types of materials used, the amount of recycled material, the company’s environmental policy, and packaging options in order to evaluate the environmental friendliness of products. With these recommendations, the economic analysis looked at which socially accepted, environmentally friendly products could be optimized from a cost perspective, and where these products can be purchased. The final recommendation of this triple bottom line analysis is that the Waste Reducing Vending Machine be stocked with Pilot products: Pilot BeGreen B2P Gel Pen; Pilot BeGreen Precise V5 Rolling Ball Pen; Pilot Begreen Progrex 0.5mm Mechanical Pencil; Their respective refills. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

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