Make Crayola Crayons Eco-Friendly

Target: Mike Perry, President and CEO of Crayola

Goal: Convince president of Crayola to make all of Crayola’s crayons eco-friendly.

Crayola crayons are nontoxic for people, but some forget that this planet isn’t just made up of people. Crayola crayons all come with a “nontoxic” label, and while they may be nontoxic for children, they aren’t for the environment. Crayola crayons are made with paraffin wax which requires the use of toxic chemicals to process and can also take up to 100 years to decompose. Crayola needs to make the health of its customers and the environment its top priority by making all of its crayons eco-friendly.

Crayola crayons are made with paraffin wax, a petroleum byproduct. It begins as a grayish-black sludge that is left over after the petroleum refining process, once all of the other petroleum-based products (gas, pavement, oil) have been extracted. It must be bleached and processed before it can be worked with, both steps that require the use of toxic chemicals. Maybe the crayons that result from all of this aren’t toxic for children, but the process of making them certainly is.

Crayola’s exact market share is not public information, but it is estimated that it is responsible for at least 80% of crayon sales and enjoys 99% brand recognition in the U.S. Crayola charges significantly higher prices than non-name brand crayons and still outsells them. Seeing as Crayola does very little advertising, it would stand to reason it enjoys sizable profits. Instead of pocketing them, Crayola needs to give back to the planet that has provided the resources to help it make millions.

Crayola could make its crayons eco-friendly by using soy wax (from non-genetically modified soybeans, of course) instead of paraffin wax. This would make them completely biodegradable. Another alternative to paraffin wax is beeswax. Beeswax crayons would also be biodegradable and made from renewable resources. These are more expensive, but Crayola can afford it.

There are options available for Crayola to choose in order to make its crayons eco-friendly. The fact that it doesn’t is simply greedy and irresponsible. Tell Crayola to start leading the market not just in sales, but in environmental responsibility. Ask Mike Perry, president and CEO, to make all of Crayola’s crayons eco-friendly.


Dear Mr. Perry,

Crayola leads the market in crayon sales and does very little advertising. It also uses paraffin wax as its main ingredient, which is cheaper than using eco-friendly ingredients like soy wax or beeswax. This means Crayola must be enjoying sizable profits…but at what cost? Not only can paraffin wax take up to 100 years to decompose, it also requires the use of toxic chemicals to bleach and process it after the petroleum refining process.

By replacing paraffin wax with soy wax or beeswax, not only would you be making crayons that are nontoxic for children, but they would be nontoxic for the planet as well. We ask you to stop polluting the environment by making crayons from renewable, biodegradable resources like soy wax and beeswax.


[Your Name Here]

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  1. Crayola can definitely afford to start making eco-friendly crayons…and the planet can’t afford to have them not.

  2. Please sign this petition. Julie Ross wrote, “Crayola can definitely afford to start making eco-friendly crayons…and the planet can’t afford to have them not.”

  3. Elaine Puschmann says:

    PLEASE RETHINK THIS! My 2 year old son was just diagnosed with a life threatening allergy to soy – we have had to purge MANY art supplies (in addition to food, and other items like candles) from our lives because they could KILL him. Yes, these are paraffin based, but they won’t kill children. There are a lot of kids with soy allergies out there. PLEASE consider this. If you don’t like paraffin based crayons, there ARE soy alternatives out there. PLEASE don’t take yet one more thing away from my son (or mess with the formula, thus potentially causing him to have a life threatening reaction to a product that was at one time safe for him!)

    • Beeswax is also another option. Soy absolutely has its faults, especially since most soybeans are genetically modified now. But there are other options to using crayons that come from petroleum and Crayola has the money to fund the research and development to find them… they’re just choosing not to.

      • Elaine Puschmann says:

        If soy “has its faults” – the most important being creating a lethal situation for thousands of preschoolers who, at one time could put a crayon in their mouths, but with a soy formulation would go into anaphalaxis, why do you list it as an alternative in your petition? If you want Crayola to change it’s formulation, please ask them to create one that would NOT endanger thousands of the very children who use their products. At the very least, please take soy out of your “solution.” Soy allergies are becoming more and more common – and are a very real danger in small children.

        • Elaine, I’m very sorry your son has an allergy to soy, I know that can be scary and frustrating. But we still have to try to get companies to make more eco-friendly products. If Crayola decided to start making soy-based crayons based on this petition (which I doubt), they would obviously be labeled so that your son wouldn’t use them, therefore it wouldn’t be lethal. Soy does have its faults…when it’s genetically modified. But otherwise it’s an alternative to a material that is extracted from petroleum and takes ages to decompose. And as I said, beeswax is another alternative as well as other smaller crayon manufacturers who will continue to use paraffin based crayons. Just as a side note on the subject of soy being genetically modified, many scientists think that the rise in food allergies is due to the rise in genetically modified food. So while I obviously don’t claim to know, it’s a possibility that soy may not be the problem, but GMO soy instead.

          • Elaine Puschmann says:

            It is very noble that you are trying to better the world and the environment. Just one last comment…you need to make sure that you think your actions completely through. Saving the environment is not worth killing one child, much less putting 1000’s at risk. There is no guarantee that a new soy formulation crayon would be labelled as such. Many Crayola products already contain soy (all of their washable markers, for example) and there is no indication that there is soy in those products (legally non food items do not have to be labeled). We, as parents, have to do our own research and call companies independently – and so far, Crayola has been VERY helpful in guiding me to safe products for my children. While petroleum based products may not be perfect, we don’t live in a perfect world. Soy can kill a certain percentage of children…harvesting beeswax kills a certain percentage of the bee population….petroleum based products don’t break down as quickly as other products…in the grand scheme of things, maybe that’s the lesser of all the evils being presented. Thank you very much for your patience in hearing me out.

        • Thank you for the info Elaine. I used to be a school teacher and hope to get back into it one day. It’s always good to learn as much as I can about possible dangers for children. i wish it were easier to keep the planet AND people safe and healthy! 🙂

  4. Beeswax is also another option. Soy absolutely has its faults, especially since most soybeans are genetically modified now. But there are other options to using crayons that come from petroleum and Crayola has the money to fund the research and development to find them… they’re just choosing not to.

  5. Maybe this is another alternative for the solution!

  6. There is another option!!!
    I totally agree with this petition to make Crayola accountable. Bees wax isn’t an option at this point in time due to the current plight of the bee populations (Neonicotinoids insecticides, GeoEngineering and HAARP). Soy is an issue only because it’s been Genetically Modified by companies such as Monsanto. GMO soy has been proven to be the source for children and adults allergies to soy (the soy allergies were basically unheard of prior to GMO soy). If Crayola used GMO soy to make their crayons, we would be supporting another industry that also destroys the environment and the health of all living things.
    We have been recycling crayons for many years by offering The National Crayon Recycle Program to schools and restaurants across the US, collecting over 100,000 pounds of crayons so far.
    That 100,000 pounds is “a drop in a bucket”…..
    Crayola makes 120,000 pounds of crayons EVERY DAY!!!
    98% of the crayons we collect for recycling are Crayola brand.
    Crayola needs to acknowledge that their product is recyclable and start recycling their crayons or supporting a company that will recycle their product. Recycling Crayolas will greatly reduce the need for new paraffin wax, which will reduce the need for the toxic process needed to make crayons.
    Please consider supporting the option to recycle crayons and support the purchase of recycled crayons whenever possible. 120,000,000 crayons fills one hundred-twenty 12 cubic yards capacity dumpsters — WoW!
    Another great thing about recycled crayons is that they are also recyclable!!

  7. what about the things they use to make the colors, no one has even touched on that..heavy metals come to mind, and artificial dyes, wow i’ve decided coloring probably isn’t good for you!

  8. Truth Seeker says:

    They exist, though industry is trying to prevent them from entering the market: 100% plant-derived, non-allergenic crayons that grow:

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