From limestone to paper: stone paper as an environmentally friendly alternative
On hearing the word “paper”, most people think of trees, wood and cellulose. Stone paper (or rock paper) is different, though. It is not actually paper, but a printing substrate which consists of 80% calcium carbonate (limestone powder) and 20% polyethylene resin (HDPE). Although the latter is a petroleum-based plastic, stone paper overall results in a considerable conservation of resources (energy, water, wood).
The powdered limestone used is generally a waste product from quarries, and does not have to be mined. In a thermal process, the powder is fused with the polyethylene resin before being processed into sheets.
No vegetable fibres are used at any point in the production process. Furthermore, production hardly requires any water, and uses far less energy than conventional paper. Stone paper is naturally white in colour, and does not require the use of bleaching agents or acids.
Another advantage is that stone paper is exceptionally tear-resistant, flame-resistant, water-resistant and oil-resistant due to its composition. Disposing of it is easy: it can be put in the recycling bin. With its smooth surface reminiscent of coated paper or even plastic, stone paper is ideal for use in offset, UV offset and digital printing.
Stone paper is an environmentally friendly, modern alternative to both paper and conventional plastic. We have therefore started to switch to this substrate so as to reduce the use of plastic in our product-related materials. Some of the Filtral product tags are already made from stone paper.
Advantages of stone paper at a glance:
- Wood-free paper alternative
- Environmentally friendly alternative to conventional plastic
- Production requires much less energy and water than paper
- Without chemical bleaching agents
- Tear resistant, flame retardant and water resistant
- Easy disposal via the recycling bin
- Suitable for use in offset, UV offset and digital printing