An Australian company is producing paper out of stone in an effort to provide an eco-friendly substitute to traditional pulp-based paper and avoid the destruction of thousands of trees.
Inspired by a company in Taiwan, Kevin Garcia and Jon Tse set up Karst Stone Paper in Sydney to disrupt the paper industry by making “stone paper” using repurposed waste stone from the mining and construction industries.
The stone is crushed to a powder and mixed with a non-toxic, recyclable binding agent. This mixture is then made into pellets which are heated and fed through large rollers to produce paper that is not only clean and white, but also waterproof and tear-resistant. It can be produced to varying thicknesses, from notepaper to cardboard.
This amazing innovation creates a product that is far more sustainable than regular paper because no trees are harmed and no water is used during production.
“We really are using recycled materials that are existing to produce products that have an infinite recyclability factor, and I think that’s really important for the products that we make,” explains Garcia. “The traditional pulp and paper industry is the fifth largest consumer of energy worldwide — 4% of the total energy consumed in today’s world is for making paper. On top of that, it uses more water per ton of product than any other industry.”
He estimates that in 2019 alone, Karst’s production methods helped avoid the felling of 540 large timber trees, the use of 83,100 liters of water and the secretion of 56,218 pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.