Scissors, Rock paper?
No, it’s not a new category in ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors.’ If you haven’t heard of stone paper yet, you're in for a sustainable treat!… Enter brands like karst stone, Gracious minds, and A good company.
Recently researched, developed and patented all around the world, stone paper is made from new technologies to deliver a more sustainable and eco-friendly alternative to paper made from wood pulp, water, chlorine, and acids.
Why a paper rethink?
When computers became a household necessity, we all thought the third millennium would bring about a paperless society, saving more trees and reducing the paper industry’s carbon footprint by around two-thirds.
The thing is, it never happened. The demand for paper is still almost as strong as ever. Think about how many pieces of paper you handle each day:
- You start the morning off with cereal in a cardboard box and milk wrapped in laminated paper.
- You pay for a takeaway coffee, and you get a paper receipt, paper cup and – if you like to add sugar – paper sachets.
- Your lunchtime sandwich comes wrapped in paper. You read the newspaper while you wait for it to be made up.
- You treat yourself to new clothes/shoes/books/magazines. If it’s not made of paper, it’s wrapped in paper and presented in a fancy tote made of – you guessed it – paper.
- You order Chinese for dinner. It comes in those cute cardboard boxes.
- You write in your pulp paper gratitude journal before going off to sleep.
Every year, 14% of deforestation satisfies our massive appetite for paper, despite the digital age – that’s equivalent to around 4.1 million hectares of trees.
That’s 4.1 million hectares that could be supporting biodiversity, soaking up carbon dioxide and reducing climate change.
What is stone paper?
It’s made from calcium carbonate (chalk) reclaimed from waste stone (from the mining and construction industry, waste marble and tiles) – one of the most common materials on the planet.
The calcium carbonate is crushed into a powder and mixed with a nontoxic binding agent to create a paper that is tree and water-free.
It’s smoother and more durable than traditional paper, water and oil-proof and tear-resistant. It has low carbon emissions and needs no acid or bleach to whiten it. Where every tonne of pulp paper produces 1.431 kg CO2.
Traditional paper can only be recycled up to 7 times and even recycled tree paper requires additional virgin fibers each time it is recycled – that means a percentage of new trees must be cut down for its production. Natural forests are often cut and burned to plant non-indigenous, fast-growing trees that decrease biodiversity.
By contrast, stone paper produces no waste and can be recycled indefinitely, making it the smarter paper choice.
In Australia our recycling facilities are still new to stone paper. For Gracious Minds journals; if you don't wish to store yours, please remove the cover (made from linen and 100% recycled chipboard) this can go in your recycle bin, then the stone paper can be dropped off at any Redcycle recycle bin (located all over Australia) https://www.redcycle.net.au/where-to-redcycle/
It’s not perfect – yet. To bind the calcium carbonate, stone paper requires 20% non-toxic resin (HDPE) to be included in its mix (but, at Gracious Minds, we’re working towards going resin-free– watch this space).
When compared to traditional tree paper, just one metric tonne of stone paper saves:
- Around 18 tall trees from the axe.
- 900 kg of CO2 emissions (roughly equivalent to driving your car around the earth 3.5 times).
- 16.3 million BTUs of energy (a 2-person household's energy use for two months).
- 2770 litres water
- 150 kg generated solid waste.
We didn't use one drop of water or a single, solitary tree in the making of our journals. It leaves 60% less carbon footprint than your average pulp paper. And that means you can write, plan and dream easy knowing you’re doing your bit to be kinder to our planet.