If we could only pick 3 traditional school supplies to replace with zero-waste versions, we'd pick these:
1. VINYL BINDERS - Every one ever made since the invention of binders is now, or is eventually destined for a landfill as "mixed materials waste". Vinyl's nickname: The Poison Plastic. Wasteful AND made from toxic materials, what an outrageous material to make school supplies from.
2. PAINTED PENCILS and 3. LACQUERED COLORED PENCILS - We've long known that sharpening painted or lacquered pencils creates permanent micro plastic pollution. Now there's science to document that these micro and nano plastic fragments are able to pass through the blood brain barrier within two hours of ingestion (blood brain barrier = the cells that are supposed to keep harmful substances from reaching the brain). Unpainted/unlacquered should be the only available option across the board.