Paper Made From Stone Gives the Environment a Boost
Paper made from stone rather than trees was developed 20 years ago mainly for offset printing, but a new improved version makes it suitable for use in the office and home environment as well.
According to Shenzhen-based Hunter Bliss (pictured), the paper uses mainly stone powder. “No trees or water are required, and only a fraction of the energy is necessary for production,” Bliss said. “CO2 emissions are dramatically reduced, and poisonous chemicals are eliminated.”
Bliss grew up in the US, was educated as a printing engineer in Stuttgart, Germany, and began his printing career at RR Donnelley in Shenzhen, China. After discovering the potential for stone paper material exclusive to Asia, he decided to form his own organisation to grow it around the world. Now, through the Pebble Printing Group, he is deeply involved in the research, development, production, and printing of this material for foreign markets.
As it works out, the paper is cheaper to produce and is better for the environment than conventional paper products.
In China, calcium carbonate is sourced from mining waste. Natural calcium carbonate is several million times more abundant than trees on Earth but is also a common byproduct of carbon-consuming industrial processes. Stone paper is composed of 80% calcium carbonate.
The other 20% is polyethylene and stone paper uses HDPE plastic. Bliss argues the extreme efficiency of this minor component reduces the overall fossil fuel consumption of paper production and completely eliminates wastewater and trees from paper production. The plastic component is actually the key to its extreme sustainability.
“These two ingredients make a paper that is waterproof, non-toxic, tear-resistant, soft touch, and bright white without any chemical bleaching,” said Bliss. “The base material is photodegradable, meaning that it reverts back to calcium carbonate within 6 months under direct sunlight. It is highly recyclable, being easier to de-ink than regular paper. Its degradation does not affect its recycling quality. It can be both mechanically recycled and incinerated without producing high emissions or ash. Incinerating stone paper leaves only calcium carbonate for further use in a number of industries.”
Bliss is looking for partners that can help take this product to the world and can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. More information is also available on the company website at pebbleprinting.com/
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