In Mexico, young entrepreneurs have developed a system that can convert PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles into a type of mineral paper that is waterproof and photodegradable.
This new waterproof paper is manufactured by a company called Cronology, located in Ecatepac, a municipality of Mexico State. The company claims that the new technique claims to be 15 percent cheaper than traditional manufacturing methods because it doesn’t use water or chemicals such as chlorine, as well as being far more environmentally friendly. In this way, they save 20 trees and 56,000 litres of water for every ton of paper produced.
Ever Adrian Nava, co-founder of Cronology said; ‘By not cutting trees, nor using water we reduce costs and help the planet. The mineral paper is stronger than the standard, you can’t creak it with your hands, and it’s waterproof, has the quality of being photodegradable and only absorbs the necessary amount of ink when printing.’
Mineral paper is also known as ‘peta’ paper and stone paper, and it meets the quality standards required to be used to print books, general stationery, and also boxes. The process involves first breaking plastic bottles down into bead like pellets with pieces of calcium carbon and stone. The resulting pellet mixture is then heated to more than 100 degrees Celsius and rolled out into large sheets of paper. It takes 235kg of PET bottles in order to make one ton (907kg) of mineral paper.
The only downside of the paper is that you can’t write on it with ink gel because it contains alcohol, but regular ink works fine. The company won a competition for emerging green companies in Mexico, and its aim is to help reduce costs and deforestation in the country.