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Staples Launches In-Store Recycling Programs for Mobile Electronics and Rechargeable Batteries

Staples Makes Recycling Easy and Convenient, Reducing Hazardous Pollutants in the Waste Stream

Thursday, April 24, 2003 7:00 am EDT

Dateline:

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.

Public Company Information:

NASDAQ:
SPLS
"In addition, given that Staples serves so many customers every day, the program will help connect with a wide variety of consumers beyond those already involved in environmental causes."

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Staples, Inc. (Nasdaq: SPLS) today announced two additional chain-wide recycling programs that make it easy for Staples customers to recycle their used cell phones, PDAs, pagers and rechargeable batteries. Beginning Sunday, April 27, to commemorate Earth Day week, customers can recycle these devices year-round by simply dropping them off while they shop at their local Staples store.

Staples is working with CollectiveGood, a mobile electronics recycling company, and the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation (RBRC), a non-profit organization dedicated to rechargeable battery recycling, to address the great need to reduce the amount of electronic products normally discarded into the waste stream. In addition, a portion of the proceeds from recycled mobile electronics will be donated to the Sierra Club, America's largest grassroots environmental organization, helping support environmental education and conservation programs.

"As mobile electronics and rechargeable batteries help businesses and consumers be productive every day, Staples is helping to make it easy for these products to be recycled responsibly when they're no longer being used," said Mark Buckley, vice president of environmental affairs at Staples. "Our new recycling programs, the latest initiatives in our overall environmental commitment, help reduce the amount of electronics and their hazardous elements from going into the nation's landfills. We're pleased to work with CollectiveGood, RBRC and the Sierra Club toward this goal by helping our customers to 'close the product loop' by recycling whenever they visit their local Staples store."

In the U.S. alone, there are an estimated 250-300 million used cell phones and many millions of other used mobile devices that should be recycled rather than disposed of in landfills. In addition, a 2002 national survey by the RBRC found that respondents use an average of five mobile devices in their daily lives, leading to millions of used rechargeable batteries in need of recycling each year.

Mobile Electronics Recycling

Recycling mobile electronics prevents hazardous elements like mercury, cadmium and lead from contaminating the earth through incineration and landfill disposal. Staples customers simply drop off their used cell phone, PDA and/or pager as well as chargers in the clear-plastic collection tubes conveniently located near the cell phone display area in every Staples store. The collected devices will be refurbished by CollectiveGood for reuse, usually in the developing world, or recycled according to federal and local environmental standards. For more information on CollectiveGood, visit www.collectivegood.com.

"CollectiveGood is proud to work with Staples in this mobile device recycling initiative," said Seth Heine, President of CollectiveGood. "This is the most comprehensive initiative of its kind and is also the most consumer friendly. Staples is demonstrating remarkable commitment and leadership as a retailer and steward of the environment."

"This program gives people another opportunity to do something good for the environment just by making a trip to their local Staples," remarked Johanna O'Kelley, director of the Sierra Club's licensing program. "In addition, given that Staples serves so many customers every day, the program will help connect with a wide variety of consumers beyond those already involved in environmental causes."

Rechargeable Battery Recycling

Many people don't realize that rechargeable batteries that power growing numbers of mobile electronic products can and should be recycled when they no longer hold a charge. Working with RBRC, Staples will recycle used rechargeable batteries commonly found in mobile devices including cell phones, digital cameras, laptop computers, PDAs as well as portable DVD and CD players. Staples customers simply drop off their used rechargeable batteries at the store customer service desk.

"Our program with Staples marks the first time we've joined forces with a national office supply retailer," said Ralph Millard, executive vice president, RBRC. "By giving customers the resources to recycle used rechargeable batteries that are found in many Staples products, Staples is again showing its leadership in serving customers and being environmentally responsible."

Rechargeable batteries eligible for collection and recycling are those that contain Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Cd), Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH), Lithium Ion (Li-im) and Small Sealed Lead (Pb) (weighing less than 2 lbs/1 kg). The program does not accept Alkaline or Lithium Batteries. For more information on RBRC, visit www.rbrc.org.

To recycle mobile electronics and rechargeable batteries at Staples, customers can find a local store on the store locator at www.staples.com/about, and clicking Find a Store.

Staples and the Environment

Staples, widely recognized as an environmental leader and for driving greater environmental responsibility throughout its industry, is committed to protecting and preserving natural resources in four areas: the purchase and promotion of recycled content products; chain-wide recycling initiatives; energy conservation programs and renewable power procurement; as well as educational initiatives for our customers and associates. As part of its overall environmental commitment, Staples also recycles used ink jet cartridges through drop-off bins in all U.S. stores.

About Staples

Staples, Inc. is an $11.6 billion retailer of office supplies, business services, furniture and technology to consumers and businesses from home-based businesses to Fortune 500 companies in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and Portugal. Headquartered outside Boston, Staples invented the office superstore concept and today is the largest operator of office superstores in the world. The company has 58,000 associates serving customers in approximately 1,500 office superstores, mail order catalogs, e-commerce and a contract business. More information about the company is available at http://www.staples.com.

Contact:

Staples
Owen Davis, 508/253-8468
Owen.davis@staples.com
or
For Staples
Meara Murphy, 617/937-2574
Meara.murphy@mslpr.com

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