Courtesy GreenMantra

A Portland, Ore.-based manufacturer has begun offering roofing products made from a unique source: discarded coloring markers. The firm, Malarkey Roofing Products, sells residential roofing made from the markers' polyolefin casings.

The process by Candian clean technology company GreenMantra Technologies recycles dried up writing markers and converts them into polymer additives used as an ingredient in high performance, polymer modified asphalt shingles. GreenMantra receives spent markers collected and shipped by schools participating in the Crayola ColorCycle program. GreenMantra separates the polyolefin casings from the markers and grinds them into flakes. Its thermo-catalytic system converts the plastic flake into a high-value polymer specifically designed as an additive for asphalt modification.

Malarkey then uses the polymer additives to create sustainable, polymer modified asphalt roofing products. The roofing shingles made with polymer modified asphalt have enhanced flexibility and performance in extreme weather conditions and high levels of impact resistance and granule retention, the firm says. For every ton of recycled plastic used, four barrels of oil and 7.4 cubic yards of landfill space are saved.

Based in Brantford, Ontario, GreenMantra works with other hard-to-recycle materials such as grocery bags and film, to turn them into high-value waxes and other specialty chemicals. These materials have a broad range of applications in the coatings, plastics processing, adhesives, roofing and paving industries.