Paper Made From Stone Is An Idea That Rocks

Paper is one of the most wasted materials on the planet. Even worse than the fact that we use it flippantly and recycle only a small portion is the fact its made from one of the most precious resources we have: trees. Despite the push to go paperless, it’s unlikely that paper will disappear from society any time soon. An Italian company has engineered a material that could bridge the gap in the meantime.

Repap (paper spelled backwards) turns stone, an inert and abundant material, into paper that’s not only a worthy substitute for what we know now, it’s even better.

repap, stone, paper

Image via Repap

Now, although it’s billed as a paper made from stone, it’s not exactly pebbles flattened into a tablet. Repap is made up of 80% calcium carbonate (CaCO) and a small percentage, 20%, from non-toxic resins (high intensity polyethylene).

According to the company, the calcium carbonate present in Repap comes from the limestone recovered from caves and used in the construction industry. The calcium carbonate is reduced to a fine powder and the polyethylene acts as a binder. The resulting paper-like material is resistant and durable, as well as waterproof, a huge advantage over tree-based paper.

As GOOD points out, Repap’s production process doesn’t require any water, and the paper is naturally white, so it also doesn’t have to be bleached and doesn’t need strong acids.” The result is an entire lifecycle that’s better for the planet and keeps more trees growing and absorbing carbon, like they should be.

Beth Buczynski is a freelancer writer and editor currently living in the Rocky Mountain West. Her articles appear on Care2, Ecosalon and Inhabitat, just to name a few. So far, Beth has lived in or near three major U.S. mountain ranges, and is passionate about protecting the important ecosystems they represent. Follow Beth on Twitter as @ecosphericblog

    • bluethumb

      It’s a great idea until the business gets large enough to hate.

    • http://twitter.com/annadesimone Anna De Simone

      Il carbonato di calcio è estratto da cave di marmo che rappresentano un vero patrimonio ambientale. Le cave, al contrario degli alberi, non si possono ripiantare. In più il processo produttivo richiede molta energia sia in termini elettrico che idrici. Molto meglio riciclare!

    • David Hamiter

      If it’s waterprooof, what happens when you write on it with an ink pen?