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Staples Celebrates Earth Day with New Nationwide School Fundraiser to Facilitate Ink Cartridge Recycling

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 19, 2004--

"Recycle for Education" Makes It Easy for Schools to Turn Trash Into Cash

In celebration of Earth Day 2004, Staples, Inc. (Nasdaq: SPLS) will launch a nationwide program that enables schools to raise money by recycling used inkjet and laser toner cartridges right at school. Free recycling kits will be available online starting April 22 for the "Staples Recycle for Education" program which gives schools $1.00 for every eligible cartridge recycled.

Parents or teachers can log on to www.staplesrecyclefored.com to register their school and receive a welcome kit including flyers to announce the program. Staples will provide prepaid postage for shipping the cartridges and an account number so the school can monitor the status of reimbursement checks and total collection counts -- making it easy to facilitate school contests that encourage participation.

Staples created "Staples Recycle for Education" in July 2003 to encourage cartridge recycling at its 1,100 U.S. stores. This effort is on track to raise $1.5 million in its first year for statewide education funds.

"Our customers told us they love the connection to recycling and education, but they wanted a school-specific fundraising option," said Shira Goodman, executive vice president of marketing at Staples. "We've created an easy way for schools to rally their faculty and students for an important cause and also raise money for their own specific school needs."

The "Staples Recycle for Education" program has already presented dozens of public education foundations across the country with money raised through the program. The California Teacher Association recently accepted nearly $75,000 for their Institute for Teachers, a program to improve student learning at schools where students need the most help. The Massachusetts Teacher Association received over $30,000 from "Staples Recycle for Education" for "Reading Matters" to promote reading and literacy across the state. Throughout the country, these organizations will continue to benefit from Staples in-store cartridge recycling program. The new in-school enhancement will allow schools to directly benefit from their own recycling efforts.

"I applaud Staples for its ongoing efforts to promote recycling," said Marianne Lamont Horinko, assistant administrator for the office of solid waste and emergency response at the EPA. "In this case, it is a win-win for both the environment and the schools."

An inkjet printer can be found in nearly every home in America that has a computer. Today, estimates indicate that less than 10 percent of used cartridges are recycled and the EPA reports that nearly 400 million ink cartridges ended up in North American landfills in 2003. Cartridges in landfills will remain in the waste stream for centuries. Staples works with remanufacturing companies to have eligible cartridges refurbished and then quality-tested for sale as Staples brand cartridges, and also works to ensure non-refurbishable cartridges are recycled by working with a plastics recycler that re-processes the plastic into other products.

"This is the easiest cartridge recycling process around-- since we provide the collection bins, postage, tracking of funds and send the check directly to the school," added Goodman. "We're proud to extend this in-store program into schools and will continue to collect cartridges at our stores as well to make it easy for everyone to support the program. This is an important step towards a greener environment."

Beginning on Earth Day, April 22, log on to www.staplesrecyclefored.com for a complete list of eligible cartridges and how to start recycling.

About Staples, Inc.

Staples, Inc. is headquartered outside of Boston and sells a wide range of office products, including supplies, technology, furniture, and business services. With 2003 sales of 13.2 billion, Staples is committed to make buying office products easy. Approximately 60,000 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 nearly 1,600 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 www.staples.com.

CONTACT: Staples, Inc.
Karen O'Neil, 508-253-7375
karen.oneil@staples.com
or
Sharyn Frankel, 508-253-7895
sharyn.frankel@staples.com

SOURCE: Staples, Inc.