Trees are our best allies. Other than absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen, trees contribute to replenishing the soil, controlling erosion, reducing air pollution, protecting fish and wildlife, etc. Overall, trees are quintessential for our environment. As the World is becoming more and more aware of Mother Nature’s declining resource, the need for greener and sustainable alternatives is also increasing.
In this effort, the “tree-free paper” is such an industry that promises a viable alternative to tree-based paper, reducing the pressure on trees.
If we’re to consume paper, it’s time that we became aware of its impact on the nature. It doesn’t take much for one to do one’s part in protecting nature.
Free-Tree Paper: What Is It?
Paper is an important everyday component for ages. The pulp and paper industry is currently the largest industry worldwide for wood consumption. To satisfy the demand, trees are being cut at an alarming rate. Deforestation is now claiming biologically rich forests. Every year, a significant portion of the tropical forest is lost. A big cause is the industrial expansion of tree plantation for pulp supply and meets global demand for paper products.
To decrease the pressure on trees, here come tree-free papers. Plant fiber is still the primary raw material. However, the source of plant fiber is changed from tree to alternative fibers that are quickly replenished. The raw material of tree-free paper includes agricultural residues (straw, husks, and sugarcane bagasse), fiber crops (hemp, jute, bamboo, flax etc.) and even textile and cotton waste. Instead of cutting down more trees, these elements are easily harvestable with little to no negative impact on nature.
The benefits of Free-Tree Paper
The paper industry has been a major part of deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions. Paper production also consumes a substantial amount of water and energy. Timber harvesting for paper accounts is responsible for about 37% of the deforestation process. According to the Environmental Paper Network, the production cost of paper is quite costly. Production of a ton of virgin paper requires about 24 trees on average while releasing about 5,601 pounds of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere! On the other hand, tree-free paper is carbon-neutral and eco-friendly.
There’s a limit on how much tree fiber we can harvest before negatively impacting the environment. On the other hand, the fiber of tree-free paper is quickly replenished as the crops grow rapidly. Harvesting the plant parts doesn’t disrupt the natural ecosystem. Moreover, compared to tree fiber, processing plant fiber require significantly less energy and chemical input. The production doesn’t require chlorine or chlorine compound which is a major pollutant from the paper industry.
Because of lower production cost, tree-free papers are cheaper as well. Tree-free papers are also 100% compostable.
Just remember: Tree-free paper is cheaper, eco-friendly, less carbon footprint, higher quality, more sustainable and causes zero deforestation.
Tree-Free paper in packaging
The packaging industry is a major consumer of paper. Sustainable packaging materials are harder to source other than plastic and cardboard wrappings. However, plastic is non-biodegradable and toxic to the environment. Cardboards mostly use tree pulp for production. Tree-free paper offers a good solution to this issue. It’s such a packaging material that doesn’t damage the nature.
In the US and worldwide, several startups have started their journey in tackling the challenge of tree-free paper production. At Naturaisle, we want to contribute to this by adding such green and sustainable packaging to our products.In our packaging we always try to offer alternatives to classic tree-based paper by designing premium-grade biodegradable packaging for you and your family. We have launched The Scrubber with tree-free packaging and we are developing free-tree paper boxes for our The Puck.
Sources used to write this blog