Stationary Amnesty

What is it?

A stationery amnesty is when everyone in the office or building is invited to get rid of their unwanted stationery, and then it’s redistributed around the building to those who need it. This saves money, as you don’t need to buy new stationery; prevents items going to landfill unnecessarily and frees up space. You can hold an amnesty every few months, or once a year. You’ll be amazed at how much stuff is returned! The amnesty could last for 1 day, or over the course of a few days.


How to organise a Stationery Amnesty

  • Ensure you have approval from Director / Head of department / line manager
  • Once approved, inform staff / students of the start and end date of the amnesty
  • Don’t forget to tell people why the amnesty is taking place – Embracing a low carbon future through reducing and reusing!

Ask colleagues to check their desks and empty their drawers of unused pens, paperclips and unnecessary stationery so that it can be redistributed and used by other people within the organisation who need it.

By putting our stationery back into circulation we reduce the carbon emissions associated with the manufacture, delivery and disposal of unnecessary stationery purchases.

  • Provide clearly labelled collection boxes / bags at strategic points in the building
  • Let people know that the bins are in place
  • Take the collection boxes back at the end of the amnesty period
  • Sort out the stationery and distribute accordingly


Top Tips

  • Ask your team members to help – make it fun.  Perhaps hold a coffee morning to herald the end of the amnesty
  • You can reuse lever arch files by putting a clean label over the old one or stripping the old labels off.
  • Envelopes and jiffy bags can be reused – stick a white label over the old address
  • Take pictures of your amnesty and / or make a rough note of how much stuff was collected, and send the info to your staff / students - positive feedback is a great motivator.



Assistant Estates Manager

Nicola Keown


Environmental Officer

Joe Murray