What is stone paper and how does it differs from traditional pulp paper?
Stone Paper is exactly what it sounds like: paper made from crushed stone rather than from wood-pulp, in a process that is vastly better for the environment than the production of traditional paper.
Besides, Stone Paper has a number of other benefits compared with traditional wood-pulp paper: it’s durable and tear-resistant, it has no grain (resulting in a smooth writing experience), and it can withstand water, grease and dirt.
How to make Stone Paper
Making paper out of stone is a fascinating process. At A Good Company, we produce our Stone Paper in a lovely, family-owned factory in Taiwan, that has improved and refined its production processes for several years.
Our factory uses recycled leftovers that it gets from a neighbouring construction industry — mainly limestone and marble — which it crushes into a fine calcium carbonate powder. Calcium carbonate is a completely natural product, that is abundant on the earth and used in many industries, such as construction, traditional paper making, and can be found in a range of everyday products such as toothpaste, medicine and baby powder.
The calcium carbonate powder (80%) is then mixed with recycled non-toxic high-density polyethylene (HDPE) — a material that can be recycled almost indefinitely — to create small white pellets the size of candy. In a 100% dry process that applies zero acids, bleach or water, the pellets are squeezed into a material that resembles traditional paper.
Making traditional paper
Traditional paper is made from wood pulp, mainly made from trees such as spruce or pine. Some of the top wood-pulp producing countries globally are the U.S., Canada, Brazil, China, Sweden and Finland.
Many people mistakenly think paper is a natural product that isn’t very harmful to produce, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, the production of traditional paper consumes
vast quantities of raw material and energy, in addition to lots of chemicals and water.
The first step in producing traditional pulp-paper is to cut down large quantities of timber, which is a big contributor to global deforestation
. These tree logs are then passed through a debarker, where the bark is taken away, and through chippers, where the wood is cut into pieces.
The resulting wood chips are then pressure-cooked with a mixture of water and chemicals in a digester, to create basic wood-pulp. The pulp is then washed, refined, and bleached and turned into to slush in a beater, after which dyes, coatings and other additives are added to the mix.
Once the pulp is ready, the cellulose fibers in the pulp need to be separated from the water. In fact, 90% of wood-pulp is water, so the separation results in large quantities of waste-water. The dry pulp is then sprayed upon moving mesh screens to make a layered mat of paper, which goes through several energy-consuming processes to dry.
What is recycled paper?
When paper is recycled, it’s taken from our recycling bins to a recycling plant, where different types of paper and packaging is separated into types and grades. The paper is then washed with soapy water to remove inks, plastic film, staples and glue. The paper is put into a large holder where it is mixed with water to create recycled pulp.
The recycled pulp is then mixed with virgin wood-pulp to create different grades of recycled paper, that can be used for things like newspapers, toilet paper or packaging material. Paper can only be recycled between five to seven times in total.
Conclusion, what’s good about Stone Paper?
Our Stone Paper is a fantastic product, and when buying any of our Stone Paper products, we compensate every purchase with the planting of one tree, contributing to a positive environmental impact. Beyond having all the similar characteristics and usages as standard paper, our Stone Paper has some clear benefits:
- It is water resistant.
- It is resistant to tearing.
- It is made with solar power.
- It is produced using only recycled materials
- It is produced without any added chemicals.
- It is produced without the usage of water.