Stone paper as a sustainable alternative to pulp paper
Amsterdam - “The Netherlands is a major European driver of deforestation” (NOS), according to the report 'Stepping Up: The continuing impact of EU consumption on nature, prepared by WWF'. The news even got a place in the NOS news of April 14 – and rightly so. In fact, it was about time! After all, large-scale deforestation is a very serious problem of which everyone worldwide is already clearly noticing or will be noticing the consequences. Temperatures are rising, areas are becoming drier, farmers are losing their land, biodiversity in local areas is drastically declining, ecosystems are collapsing and land is being degraded for a long time or even permanently. With all its consequences.
The soybean industry, along with the palm oil industry, is number 2 in the ranking of industries that cause large-scale deforestation. A less talked about driver of deforestation is the paper industry, while it ranks 3rd on the list.
No less than 14% of global logging is destined for the paper industry. Moreover, a lot of paper is only used one single time by someone (single use paper) and then ends up in the old paper bin. Paper can be recycled up to 7 times and fresh wood pulp is always needed to recycle old paper. Both the production and recycling process of paper is therefore anything but sustainable, let alone circular.
A shame, because paper can also be made from sustainable, alternative and fully recyclable raw materials. Few people know about these alternatives to pulp paper, while it can offer a hugely efficient solution to the large-scale deforestation within the paper industry.
One such solution is stone paper. This paper is made of 80% limestone (in the form of residual waste) and 20% HDPE plastic. This is recycled plastic that can be completely recycled in itself. Stone paper is also 100% recyclable (certified with Silver Cradle-to-Cradle Certificate). The paper is free from trees, water and chemicals and also emits 67% less CO2 during production than during the production of pulp paper. Thanks to the water-repellent property of stone paper, Frixion ink can be completely erased with a damp cloth. The paper can then be rewritten and will therefore last for years. An as yet relatively unknown, but very sustainable and circular alternative to pulp paper.
Fortunately, stone paper is becoming more and more known and popular, both on a national and international level. Smaller companies such as MOYU already offer plenty of stone paper stationery and are working with parties such as WWF to put a stop to single-use paper, paper waste and deforestation. Something that the paper industry itself seems to pay little attention to – but that's another story.
Stone paper could be the invention of the century and even the New Normal when it comes to an environmentally friendly alternative to pulp paper that is both sustainable in production and use. Initiatives like these can make a difference – if we just give them the chance.