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Staples and Pennsylvania Educators Launch "Staples Recycle for Education"

Statewide Cartridge Recycling Program To Raise Money For Pennsylvania Schools and Reduce Environmental Waste

Wednesday, July 16, 2003 7:00 am EDT

Dateline:

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.

Public Company Information:

NASDAQ:
SPLS
"'Staples Recycle for Education' will raise millions of dollars for classrooms and help defray the costs that teachers spend out of their own pockets on school supplies."

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--At a time when Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania will be distributed by the NEA Foundation for the Improvement of Education (NFIE) to educators in the state.

Staples Vice Chairman Joe Vassalluzzo kicked off the program in Pennsylvania today at a rally in Philadelphia with Susan Enfield from the office of the PA Secretary of Education, Robert Ganem, senior program manager of The NEA Foundation, and Heather Cowley, regional pollution prevention and compliance assistance manager of the PA Department of Environmental Protection. Pennsylvania is one of six states selected as a focus of the program.

"This program is an easy way for Staples to join forces with our customers and educators to help public education and the environment in Pennsylvania," said Joe Vassalluzzo, Staples vice chairman. "We hope to raise thousands of dollars at our 76 stores across the state."

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 Pennsylvania will stay in the state for education grants or statewide education programs.

"Public schools are hurting," said Robert Ganem, senior program manager for The NEA Foundation. "'Staples Recycle for Education' will raise millions of dollars for classrooms and help defray the costs that teachers spend out of their own pockets on school supplies."

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 Heather Cowley of the PA Department of Environmental Protection. "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 Wissahickon Boys & Girls Club attended the Philadelphia rally and brought empty cartridges to kick-off the program in Pennsylvania.

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 sustained by their continuing support. For more information log on to www.nfie.org.

Contact:

Staples, Inc.
Sharyn A. Frankel, 888-405-0503
sharyn.frankel@staples.com
or
Karen O'Neil, 508-253-7375
karen.oneil@staples.com

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