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Staples and Georgia Educators Launch `Staples Recycle for Education'

Statewide Cartridge Recycling Program To Raise Money For Georgia Association of Educators and Reduce Environmental Waste

Tuesday, July 22, 2003 7:00 am EDT

Dateline:

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.

Public Company Information:

NASDAQ:
SPLS
"This program is an easy way for Staples to join forces with our customers and educators to help public education and the environment in Georgia"

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--At a time when Georgia 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 Georgia educators 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 Georgia will be distributed by the Georgia Association of Educators (GAE) for the GAE's Foundation for the Improvement of Public Education.

"This program is an easy way for Staples to join forces with our customers and educators to help public education and the environment in Georgia," said Otis Pannell, Staples senior vice president. "We hope to raise thousands of dollars at our 33 stores across the state."

Staples Senior Vice President Otis Pannell kicked off the program in Georgia today at a rally in Atlanta with Lieutenant Governor Mark Taylor, Jocelyn Whitfield, community outreach specialist for Georgia Association of Educators, and Chuck Boelkins, resource recovery specialist for Pollution Prevention Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. Georgia is one of five states selected as a focus of the program.

"Georgia is behind Staples 100 percent because we put children and education first," said Lieutenant Governor Taylor. "We join Staples, as a partner, in education and recycling for a better environment."

Staples has partnered with the Georgia Association of Educators' GAE Foundation for the Improvement of Public Education. Funds raised in the state will be earmarked for three scholarships that reward creative and aspiring teachers -- The Foundation Scholarship for Aspiring Teachers, The Foundation Scholarship for Best Practices of Certified Educators, and The Foundation Scholarship for Education Support Professionals (ESPs) for Professional Development.

"This innovative partnership will help offset the costs for college and post-graduate work for aspiring teachers," said Merchuria Chase Williams, president of the Georgia Association of Educators. "It also will help ESPs who desire to cross over into teaching as well as support current teachers' innovative and creative projects and programs."

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 turning trash into cash, Staples is helping to educate the public on the value of recycling," said Chuck Boelkins, resource recovery specialist for Pollution Prevention Assistance Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. "These products are more of an environmental problem than most people realize and Staples' innovative program will both raise environmental awareness and boost education budgets."

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. Members of the Warren Boys & Girls Club attended the Atlanta rally and brought empty cartridges to kick-off the program in Georgia.

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

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