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Staples and California Educators Launch `Staples Recycle for Education'

SACRAMENTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 31, 2003-- Statewide Cartridge Recycling Program To Raise Money For California Teachers Association and Reduce Environmental Waste

At a time when California public education is facing massive budget cuts, Staples has introduced "Staples Recycle for Education," a new program that makes it easy to raise money for public education by recycling used inkjet and laser toner cartridges. Staples will donate $1.00 for every eligible cartridge recycled in its stores with a nationwide goal to raise $5 million for public education. All funds generated in California will be distributed by the California Teachers Association (CTA) through the CTA Institute for Teaching.

Staples Regional Vice President Frank Gorski kicked off the program in California today at a rally at the state capitol in Sacramento with Barbara E. Kerr, president of the California Teachers Association, and Amy Zimpfer, acting waste management division director for Region 9 of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). California is one of five states selected as a focus of the "Staples Recycle for Education" program.

"This program is an easy way for Staples to join forces with our customers and educators to help public education and the environment in California," said Frank Gorski, Staples regional vice president. "We hope to raise thousands of dollars at our 160 stores across the state."

Staples has partnered with the California Teachers Association and its Institute for Teaching. The CTA Institute for Teaching was set up to support CTA's Schools of Greatest Need Initiative. Funds from this program provide additional classroom resources, teacher training and family involvement programs to improve student learning at schools where students need the most help.

"CTA and the teachers of California are very excited about the recycling program and applaud Staples for their strong commitment to public education," said Barbara E. Kerr, president of the 335,000-member CTA. "With state education funding cut by more than $4 billion already, this program will help CTA's efforts to support those schools that are working hard to improve against big odds."

An inkjet printer can be found in nearly every home in America that has a computer - a number that is growing daily. According to industry statistics, 80 percent of inkjet cartridges are thrown in the trash, where it is expected they would remain in the waste stream for centuries, instead of simply recycling them for reuse. The "Staples Recycle for Education" program makes it easy to recycle used inkjet and laser toner cartridges in clearly marked recycling bins at all 1,100 Staples store nationwide.

"By promoting recycling of printer cartridges, Staples is not only conserving our country's natural resources but is also supporting the education of our youth," said Amy Zimpfer, acting director of the Waste Management Division for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Pacific Southwest Office. "We want to get the word out about these opportunities and build momentum for even more reuse and recycling programs like the one being launched today to recycle toner cartridges. This effort by Staples supports the EPA's Resource Conservation Challenge, which seeks to increase the national recycling rate from 30 to 35 percent and cut the generation of 30 harmful chemicals by 2005. In addition, Staples has recently joined the EPA in the Plug-In To eCycling Campaign to continue to promote product stewardship of electronic equipment."

Staples Recycle for Education brings together two important issues for the company - education and the environment. Staples has been praised by environmental groups for its industry leading paper procurement policy and the 2,100 post-consumer-waste recycled content products sold at its stores.

Just last year Staples created Staples Foundation for Learning which has already provided $1.2 million in grants to support educational programs for disadvantaged youth, including a national partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

To learn more about Staples Recycle for Education, log on to www.staples.com/recycleforeducation.

About Staples, Inc.

Staples, Inc., an $11.6 billion retailer headquartered outside of Boston, sells a wide range of office products, including supplies, technology, furniture, and business services. Staples is committed to make buying office products easy. Nearly 58,000 associates serve consumers and businesses of all sizes -- from home-based businesses to Fortune 500 companies in the US, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Staples invented the office superstore concept and today, with approximately 1,500 office superstores, is the largest operator of office superstores in the world. Staples also serves its customers through its mail order catalog, e-commerce and contract businesses. More information is available at http://www.staples.com.

CONTACT: Staples, Inc.
Sharyn A. Frankel, 508-253-7895
sharyn.frankel@staples.com
or
Julie Mittelman, 617-699-2117
Julie.mittelman@staples.com

SOURCE: Staples, Inc.