Paper from marble in Taiwan
Posted on November, 10th 2016.
A Taiwanese company using marble residues to make high-end ecological paper. It’s a great alternative to traditional paper production which damages the environment.
Producing one tonne of paper from marble waste not only saves 20 trees and 28,000 liters of water but also avoids 900kg of CO2 emissions compared to the production of one tonne of conventional paper.
Paper is part of our everyday lives. So much so that we tend to forget that producing it harms the environment. Greedy in energy and polluting, it is also one of the causes of deforestation.
Traditionally, paper is made from cellulose fibers extracted from wood. It is estimated that it takes about 20 trees to produce one tonne of paper. A challenge for the future of our forests given that 340 million tonnes of paper are consumed every year... But aTaiwanese company has found an environmentally friendly alternative – it has replaced the wood with marble!
Upscale "stone paper
Founded in 1998, Taiwan Lung Meng Technology (TLMT) has developed a technology that allows it to produce upscale paper from the marble waste it collects from the mines.
The stone is crushed to extract the 80% of calcium carbonate it contains. This is then combined with a non-toxic plastic resin and brought to the boil before being cooled with water.
The result is very high quality paper that is light, difficult to tear and - more surprisingly - fire, water and pest proof!
A sustainable solution...
Even better than its robustness, marble paper has some very interesting sustainable virtues.
First, using marble waste automatically saves wood resources. And - compared with the production of conventional paper - marble paper requires only a small amount of water and releases very little CO2. According to the TLMT website, replacing one tonne of traditional paper with a tonne of marble paper saves 20 trees, 28,000 liters of water and avoids 900kg of CO2 emissions.
In addition, marble paper is easily recyclable. It can either be reused to make more paper or can be incorporated into products that use recycled plastic. And what’s more, marble paper is photodegradable - it deteriorates when exposed to the sun for a long period of time.
... already exported to 40 countries
The innovation has been patented and is currently marketed in forty countries in Europe and in the United States.
Marble paper is mainly used for making bags, especially for restaurants which like its impermeability. It can also be used to make a variety of products: calendars, lamps, bags, etc. One of TLMT’s customers is even the White House Historical Association, which uses their paper for its gift bags.
TLMT’s solution is very promising for the papermaking industry – it’s impossible to stay stonily indifferent to such an innovation!
Main picture: Taiwan Lung Meng Technology Co., Ltd.