The age old pencil is getting a redesign, and finding a replacement for slow growth wood in an unusual source: your kitchen appliances.
The last great leap forward in pencil technology was reshaping them into a hexagon so they wouldn't roll off an angled draftsman's desk. (I cannot count the mechanical pencil as a leap forward. I just can't.) Now, French pen and razor company, Bic, is taking the wood out of a "wooden" pencil to make it more sustainable, and the secret ingredient is old refrigerator parts.
According to Waste and Recycling News, Bic's new line of Ecolution pencils removes the cedar previously used in its pencils and replaces it with a surprisingly wood-like polystyrene resin from refrigerator linings. See this PDF from the maker on how the resin is used and its impact.
It still works just like any old traditional pencil. I looks like a wood pencil. It feels like a wood pencil. You can sharpen it just like a traditional cedar pencil, it's just not made from a slow growth wood. That's a good thing.
But, as Phil Covington of Triple Pundit points out, improvement as this may be, old fridge linings are no permanent solution. Polystyrene, recycled or not, is non-biodegradable. A better solution might be sustainably harvested wood pencils.