Mizuiro, a Japanese company, collaborated with graphic designer Naoka Kimura to create a sustainable alternative to toxic traditional crayons that are made from paraffin wax which is derived from petroleum, a fossil fuel.
Kimura initially wanted to find crayons that are sustainable and safe for her children. She was inspired by the variety of colors in her garden. She later decided to make crayons from vegetable waste and rice.
The crayons are called Oyasai Crayons and contain natural ingredients like rice bran oil and rice wax which are derived from the rice polishing process. Its pigment is created using recycled plant materials like the outer leaves of vegetables.
By transforming this food waste, the crayons gain their colors. These are the same components used for natural food coloring.
Oyasai Crayons contain a box of 10 shades that are named after the vegetables they were created from such as Japanese yam, green onion, long potato, burdock, corn, snow carrot, apple, cassis, purple potato, and takesumi (bamboo charcoal).
Although the Oyasai Crayons are made from natural ingredients and are considered food-grade products, they are not edible.
The crayons meet the JIS standard for crayon strength and have received the European standard toy safety EN71-3: 2013 certificate meaning that they are safe to use by children.