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Staples and Ohio Educators Launch `Staples Recycle for Education'; Statewide Cartridge Recycling Program To Raise Money For Ohio Schools and Reduce Environmental Waste

Tuesday, August 5, 2003 7:00 am EDT

Dateline:

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.

Public Company Information:

NASDAQ:
SPLS
"School budgets are being cut across the state and programs such as this will enable us to continue to fund reading initiatives for Ohio students."

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--At a time when Ohio public education has absorbed more 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 Ohio will be used to benefit the Ohio Education Association's Educational Foundation to promote literacy as well as for other projects.

Staples Senior Vice President Andrew Lewis kicked off the program in Ohio today at a rally at the state capitol in Columbus with Gary L. Allen, president of the Ohio Education Association, and Margaret Guerriero, acting director of waste, pesticides and toxics division for Region 5 of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

"This program is an easy way for Staples to join forces with our customers and educators to help public education and the environment in Ohio," said Andrew Lewis, Staples regional vice president. "We hope to raise thousands of dollars at our 47 stores across the state."

Staples has partnered with the Ohio Education Association and its Foundation. The Foundation helps fund the OEA's Read Across America program and other projects.

"We're excited to partner with Staples for this important program," said Gary L. Allen, president of the Ohio Education Association. "School budgets are being cut across the state and programs such as this will enable us to continue to fund reading initiatives for Ohio students."

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.

"The EPA has set a goal to recycle 35 percent of municipal solid waste by 2005 because we believe the benefits of recycling are clear-- greater energy savings, less landfill space used, and greater value of materials salvaged," said Margaret Guerriero, acting director of the Waste, Pesticides and Toxics Division for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA). "We appreciate Staples' willingness to make recycling of inkjet and laser cartridges convenient for consumers."

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

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