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22 Dec 2009

What To Do With Unwanted Promotional Products

Every year, millions of dollars are spent on promotional products by businesses of every size. The question is…where do those promotional items go?
Have you ever wondered what happened to that ugly fluorescent pink baseball cap that your boss gave you? How many times have you actually ever worn that obnoxious T-shirt that you won on the radio? Where is that pig shaped stress ball that you won at the grocery store? Do you know? Do you really care?

The downfall of getting something for free is that you really don’t care what happens to it.  Hundreds of thousands of dollars in promotional items meet the same exact fate every year…..thrown in the garbage.  The amount of waste accumulated in a year’s time from unused promotional products will blow your mind.  So, why even sell them if they are just going to go to waste?


Advertising will always be a part of any business, so you must expect to receive at least a few of these gifts every year.  The problem with this is deciding what in the heck you are going to do with it.  The majority of small promotional products (i.e. pens, pencils, rulers, tape measures, etc.) just end up in the garbage.  After the ink is used up or the pencil is too small to sharpen, we will just throw them in the nearest trash bin and forget we ever saw them.  Rulers and other infrequently used items mostly just end up stuffed in a drawer somewhere in the house.


Is this really the best we can do?  One elderly man in Florida thinks that these products deserve to have their day in the spotlight.  He has dedicated his life to promotional product “art”.  Yep, that’s right!  He collects random items that have been stamped with company logos and mottos and turns them into pieces of art.  It may not seem like the most practical use of these products, but at least they are not simply getting thrown into the garbage to pollute our already fragile Earth


Is that the only available option for these unwanted products? Far from it!  There are local charities that use these leftover or collected items to provide for the less fortunate.  Many times you will find that some products will make their way into thrift shops and other second hand stores for mere pennies.  Although this was not the original plan the business owner had for these products, he still must take responsibility for his part in adding to the world’s pollution problem.


The problem is evident, but what is the solution?  Simply put green products.  Many corporations have seen the repetitive cycle that promotional products follow and have sworn to do their part in making it better.  If you take into consideration the millions of plastic pens purchased in one year and then think of where they all end up when the ink runs out, it will make your stomach turn.


Promotional products are being made from more biodegradable materials now a days, but we still must stay vigilant in our fight to monitor the amount of waste that they are adding as well.



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