Innovation That Matters

Paper / On the Rocks has developed a tree-free twist on the paper notebook | Photo source Pixabay

Tree-free paper made from mining and agricultural waste


The paper is infinitely recyclable and no water is used in its production

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Spotted: Ecologically friendly stationery usually means recycled paper or paper made from alternative cellulose-based materials. While less resource-intensive than paper made from virgin pulp, recycled paper still uses a significant amount of water and electricity. Now, the solution to the conundrum of how to enjoy paper without using up the world’s water could be tree-free paper.

Using a process developed in Taiwan, Netherlands-based startup ‘Paper / On The Rocks’ turns agricultural and mining waste products into a new type of paper. It looks the same and feels the same as traditional paper, but doesn’t use the same volume of resources. Known as ‘Stonepaper’ the tree-free paper alternative is made from waste rock left over from various mining processes. Calcium carbonate stones are crushed into a fine dust that is mixed with a small amount of partially recycled high-density polyethylene (HDPE).

When heated, the material feels and acts much like a balloon and is extremely stretchable, allowing it to be pulled very thin. Once cooled, the sheets are rollable and cuttable just like pulp-based papers. The papers can be recycled via current plastic recycling processes because HDPE is a commonly used additive in many products. A stonepaper recycling stream is something Paper / On The Rocks would like to help develop.

Other paper replacement innovations that Springwise has spotted recently include edible seaweed food packaging and bamboo toilet roll.   

Written by: Keely Khoury



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