In terms of writing quality, the gel ink pen may be better. The print you come up with is more bold and clear as compared to using a ball point pen. The only drawbacks are that the ink tends to go through several pages and leave marks, especially if you press down on the pen too hard and the paper is thin. Also, unlike ballpoint pens, its ink easily smears once in contact with water.
However, when it comes to asking which pen is more eco-friendly perhaps, the gel ink pen would still be a better choice. Pen manufacturers such as Pilot are now coming up with their own line of “earth-friendly writing products.” Getting rid of a used ballpoint pen would be more costly than merely getting rid of a refill used for a gel ink pen. With the new gel ink pens, you can keep the body and simply change the ink refill. Whereas with ballpoint pens, you would have to dispose of the entire thing altogether, including the plastic tube with the silver tip, backing, and cover. As it turns out, gel pens are also more economical as the pen body is a one time investment. All you have to do in the future is buy ink refills.
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