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Staples and Educators Nationwide Launch 'Staples Recycle for Education'

Recycling Program to Raise Millions of Dollars for The NEA Foundation and National Education Association State Affiliates

Tuesday, July 8, 2003 7:00 am EDT

Dateline:

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.

Public Company Information:

NASDAQ:
SPLS
"Education has always been a priority for my family and the Staples program feels like a natural extension to my life-long interest in education"

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--At a time when public education is facing massive budget cuts, Staples introduced "Staples Recycle for Education" today, a new program that makes it easy to raise millions of dollars for educators by recycling used inkjet and laser toner cartridges. Staples will donate $1.00 for every eligible cartridge recycled in its stores --with a goal to raise $5 million for public education. Tom Cavanagh, star of the NBC hit television series "Ed," launched the campaign today in Boston along with Tom Stemberg, Staples chairman and founder, and Judith Renyi, president and CEO of The NEA Foundation.

"This program is an easy way for Staples to join forces with our customers and educators to help public education and the environment in the communities we serve," said Tom Stemberg, Staples chairman and founder. "With almost 50 million children enrolled in the nation's public schools and $80 billion in state budget deficits expected this year, now is the time for every community and every business to get involved."

Staples has partnered with The NEA Foundation For The Improvement Of Education and public charities designated by NEA state affiliates to provide grants with the money raised by "Staples Recycle for Education." Money raised with inkjet and laser toner cartridge recycling at Staples stores in each state will stay in that state for education grants or statewide education programs.

"School budget cuts are having a devastating impact on public schools," said Reg Weaver, National Education Association president. "We also know that teachers spend hundreds of dollars each year out of their own pockets on classroom supplies and materials. The 'Staples Recycle for Education' program will channel much-needed funds to schools and teachers and make valuable resources available to 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 will make 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 Robert Varney, EPA regional administrator. "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."

Tom Cavanagh has captured audiences across America with his leading role on "Ed." Cavanagh, a lifelong education advocate, is helping to spread the word about the benefits of "Staples Recycle for Education." When Cavanagh was a young boy his family moved to Ghana, Africa where his father set up an education program to train local teachers modern methods of learning. His mother was also dedicated to education and taught in the village. Cavanagh went on to receive a teaching degree from Queens College in Ontario and recently performed in the critically acclaimed Showtime movie, "Bang, Bang, You're Dead," a movie about high school violence.

"Education has always been a priority for my family and the Staples program feels like a natural extension to my life-long interest in education," said Cavanagh. "Through 'Staples Recycle for Education,' each of us has the opportunity to positively impact educational funding, and preserve the environment at the same time. I encourage everyone to bring in their empty cartridges to Staples to support education in their home state."

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.

About The NEA Foundation

The NEA Foundation for the Improvement of Education (NFIE) provides hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants each year to improve public education. Its mission is to ensure all students succeed. Created by the members of the National Education Association (NEA) in 1969, it is sustained by their continuing support. For more information log on to www.nfie.org.

Contact:

Staples, Inc.
Sharyn A. Frankel, 508/253-7895
sharyn.frankel@staples.com
or
For Staples, Inc.
Sara Gottman, 617/429-2410
sara.gottman@mslpr.com

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