Pens & Markers Put in Garbage Ways to Reduce Choose Refillable Pens and Markers When buying new writing utensils, opt for refillable. Refillable pens and markers produce less waste than single-use pens and markers. Did You Know? Eco-Friendly Pens While a truly recyclable pen doesn’t seem to have been created yet, some pens are more eco-friendly than others. Paper Mate, for instance, developed a line of biodegradable pens and pencils that will break down in soil or a home compost pile in a year.