Currently, 90% of the world’s paper is manufactured from wood pulp, but in the United States less than 1% of the total pulp produced is manufactured from nonwood, tree free alternatives.
- Rethink Paper, 2001
TREE FREE PRIMER
There are four different tree-free fiber sources from which paper can be
1. Agricultural Residues*
Examples: Sugar cane husk (also called ""bagasse"); Cereal straws – barley, oat, wheat, rice, rye...
Husks and straw left in the fields after harvesting of the main crop.
Integrated with soil management, this represents an enormous resource
*TreefreePaper.com believes this to be the most environmentally beneficial
source for paper fiber. Your purchase makes use of an existing waste stream
and there is plenty of it. As well as providing a diversion from virgin
pulp, you are helping to eliminate the greenhouse gas pollution from what
would otherwise be burned in the fields!
2. Fiber Crops (also called On-Purpose Cropping)
Examples: Hemp, Kenaf, Jute and Flax…
These are crops planted and harvested specifically for their fiber and require dedicated tracts of land and agricultural inputs. It could play a roll in responsible eco-agriculture on a large scale, eg. Rotating kenaf with corn, soybeans or wheat. There exist dedicated proponents of these methods and TreefreePaper.com
will continue to support these eco-pioneers by promoting their efforts as
market efficiencies develop. Stay tuned.
3. Textile and Cordage Wastes
Examples: Cotton linters after ginning for textiles, cotton and linen scraps, old rope…
Already being used in specialty papers, currency, letterhead and, although good, does not represent a large opportunity for additional tree fiber diversion.
4. Wild Plants
Examples: Wild grasses, Sisal, Bamboo...
These are some of the oldest and most beautiful types of paper made and are produced primarily on a small scale.