Even if we don’t notice it, paper has become a necessary commodity in our everyday lives. What do you use when you cry a river over your favorite television show? After you’re done drenching your sleeves with the tears you probably use a tissue. My planning for articles, the daily newspaper, and even everyday outdoor advertisements use some form of paper. Over the years, our ancestors have found ways to utilize natural resources to run the cycle of life.
It is quite unfortunate though that we took more from our environment than we gave it back. Estimates show that about 2.47 million trees are cut down each day in order to provide wood pulp for paper production alone. This amount is said to double by 2030!
However, what if I tell you this day-to-day deforestation could be drastically reduced?
The idea of making paper from stone was first introduced by the Taiwanese company Lung Meng Tech, Co in 1998. Who knew that in the upcoming years this idea would improve and make headlines in the international tech community?
Nobuyoshi Yamasaki, an aspiring entrepreneur abandoned his schooling at the age of 15 and ventured into the art of carpentry. Curious regarding paper made of stone, Nobuyoshi Yamasaki and his team researched more on the material. Their main challenges were environment friendliness, the quality of the paper and the cost-effectiveness in manufacturing and for selling. Once Nobuyoshi Yamasaki was confident with the designs produced, he founded the company TBM.co in 2011 and introduced Limex to the mass market.
Despite the fact that the stone paper had been introduced years ago, investors and the public were fascinated by how the quality of the paper had improved from the previous versions! Limex was made by fusing refined particles of Limestone and Plastic together on high heat and pressure. Limex proved to be an ingenious and relatively sustainable solution that could be an alternative to wood-pulp paper in the future!
Even though the process may not be entirely environmentally friendly, limestone is a resource available in abundance around the world and the manufacturing of Limex cuts down water and wood pulp usage entirely! While 20 trees and 100 tonnes of water produce 1 tonne of paper, the same amount of paper can be produced using 0.6 tonnes of limestone and 0.2 tonnes of Polyethylene only!
The properties of Limex being water-proof, sturdy and entirely recyclable has made it a sought-after material among businesses around the globe. Restaurants prefer using Limex to print their menus as they do not need to be replaced often proving to be economical. In addition to that, businesses now also prefer making their advertisement posters and business cards out of Limex. However, since Limex paper is essentially made out of stone, it is difficult to use it in books and magazines as it becomes heavy for everyday use.
Due to the booming success of Limex, Nobuyoshi Yamasaki and his team are working on making stone paper that would be flexible for everyday use and could be utilized in the making of stationery items as well! Since Limex is a completely recyclable material, Nobuyoshi Yamasaki wishes to create more everyday products that could replace the growing use of non-biodegradable plastic. As Nobuyoshi Yamasaki says:
“I want to end my life as an entrepreneur by creating a company that will last for hundreds of years; our material will play an active role in many places as the world faces population growth and water shortage.”
Limex has paved a path for the market for other paper options that are sustainable and would help preserve our environment. The researchers and staff at TBM are striving to improve the existing composition of Limex Paper in order to provide for the growing need of paper and biodegradable plastics in the future.