Paper From The Sea

One of the articles in A Good Harvest (IC#42)
Originally published in Fall 1995 on page 7
Copyright (c)1995, 1997 by Context Institute

Algae is an integral component in a line of biodegradable and recyclable paper called Seaweed Paper. Cartiera Favini, an Italian company, is manufacturing a new generation of non- or partial-wood papers, making use of easily renewable resources such as algae, corn, sugar beet residues, herbaceae, and vegetable grass.

Seaweed Paper is made from algae (15 percent), fillers (10 percent), and recycled paper (75 percent). This paper not only cuts down on the use of new wood fibers, but it uses algae (a natural water plant that thrives in polluted lakes) taken from the Venice Lagoon in Italy as part of an environmental cleanup and protection program. At $13.75 per ream wholesale, the paper is less expensive than recycled letterhead-quality bond ($20.35 per ream wholesale).

The SEAWEED Paper’s colors range from a speckled light gray to subtle sea shades of purple. Though texture and coloring vary depending on the season and the location where the algae is gathered, the paper is durable and versatile with a high quality finish suitable for laser printers. And oddly, because it is acid and chlorine free, the paper not only has a longer shelf life, but gets whiter with time.

The paper was approved in 1993 by the European Community Life program for new "clean" technologies. For more information, call IGC Papers at 800/996-0090.

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