The Paper Mate Biodegrable Gel 0.7 is pretty well described by its name. However, there are issues with both the concept and the pen’s performance.
Price: £14 a pack of 15 (haven’t been able to find them available singly)
Tip size options: 0.7
Barrel options: recycled pale green and white plastic
Ink type: blue or black gel; also available as a black ink ballpoint
Let’s start with the concept. Sixty-five per cent of the pen is made from “corn based biodegradable” material. I don’t know which parts these are but the refill looks like a perfectly normal kind of refill so I suspect it isn’t that. If the pen could be refilled then that would make little sense as it would be the very part you threw away. As it is, the pen’s designed to be disposed of after use. When you throw it away, 65% of the pen will break down and 35% will be left in landfill. Compared to most pens in this price range, that’s an advantage and I suppose most normal people use a pen and throw it away when it’s finished (or lose it first). If you’re buying pens in bulk for an office, it’s better to buy a box of these than, say, a box of Pilot G2s.
However if you’re reading this website you’re almost by definition looking for something more considered and in that case, if you want something that’s better for the environment, surely you’re better off buying a pen that can be refilled. That way nothing needs to get thrown away at all.
In use, the pen is comfortable in the hand. It’s light and a good length, and the soft rubber-like grip is both grippy and a good size. The clip is plasticky and reasonable for a pen of this price but isn’t going to take a whole lot of abuse. The clip/barrel piece wobbles.
The pen deploys and retracts with a good strong click but the tip moves around too much when you’re writing. The tip isn’t especially smooth on the paper and the ink line it puts down is a little inconsistent and feels as if it’s going to gloop at any moment (but, so far, hasn’t actually done so).
This isn’t a terrible pen but it’s not a particularly good one either. If you’re buying in bulk and on a budget, though, it’s worth considering.
Sixty-five per cent biodegradable
This pen was received as payment for a advert placed on the site.