A meadow grows faster than a forest. That was the seed of the idea for grass paper. On top of that, the new type of paper is incredibly interesting because it is available everywhere, all the time, cuts down long transport routes, and even uses less energy, water and chemicals in the production process.
“Tall-growing plants like trees contain a natural polymer (lignin) that has to be chemically removed for paper production. Low or flat-growing plants don’t have this problem,” explains Uwe D’Agnone, the inventor of grass paper. Fibres can be separated much faster. This saves 6,000 litres of water per tonne. Moreover, D’Agnone says, electricity consumption and CO2 emissions are significantly lower than in chemical wood processing.
And this also benefits the farmer. The hay at the end of the harvest period is often too densely structured to feed it to the animals. This hay is then used for paper production.
Today, grass paper is made of up to 40-50% dried grass, while the remainder comprises recycled paper or fresh wood fibres. The aim is to increase the grass fibre content to 70%.