Frequently Asked Questions
I’m really confused about the different types of paper and their applications.
Sorry for the confusion.
Essentially there are 4 types of paper RP, RB, SP and ST. The recycled versions of each of those types are coming up in the future.
- RP is the paper type.
- RB is the board type.
- SP stands for Safe Paper (food grade), ideal for food wrapping such as burger wraps
- ST stands for Stone Thermal, good for moldable applications such as disposable dishes or food containers.
For SP you have to consider Corona treatment if you want to have them printable. If you just want to use them as a replacement layer for OPP material application, then you don’t need this type of treatment.
SP products are delivered in roll format and you can find variety of applications to be made as plastic alternative material.
Is Stone Paper cost-competitive compared to recycled paper?
Stone Paper is very cost-competitive compared to recycled paper.
Some companies get away with adding only 5% recycled material to paper and claim being socially responsible.
There are hundreds of different grades of recycled papers in the market. In general we compete with most recycled options.
How is Yupo Synthetic Papers compared with Stone Paper in terms of cost, durability and environmental friendliness. Is Stone Paper a suitable alternative product?
All Papers have their own suitable benefits for select applications. We’re sure great products such as Yupo Synthetic paper is of no exception.
Most restaurant menus, plant tag labels, portable signage/displays, high end trail maps, aviation materials, airline safety instructions, PVC made labels and many other applications require special ink and special treatment.
Stone Paper uses conventional ink and no special treatment. It is a great complement to applications where plastic film or synthetic papers might not be suitable. Stone Paper offers customers the characteristics of a premium paper combined with compatibility of plastic at a fraction of the cost and at a far less environmental footprint.
Is Stone Paper produced in clean vacuum room?
Our food grade paper is produced in clean vacuum room. Other types of papers can be produced in clean vacuum room as per client’s request.
What is the price comparison for cost of production of Stone Paper against plastic, pulp paper and recycled pulp paper?
When comparing volume to volume , our Stone Paper production is much more cost efficient compared to both virgin pulp paper or recycled pulp paper. Its cost efficiency is attributed by its dry process technology, raw material sourcing and non-existent factors such as whitening, acid, bleach or water.
Could you name a few companies who have experienced their products on Stone Paper?
To name a few, below are some of the companies who have experienced our stone paper in one form or another.
- Telluride Ski Resort, Colorado, USA
- Procter & Gamble (P&G) Ariel, Spain
- Four seasons hotel, New Zealand
- Oestercompagnie, Netherland
- De Dutch Restaurant, Canada
- Fairmont Hotel, Canada
- White House Tourism, USA
- Lufthansa Miles & More, Germany
- Absolute Spa, Canada
- Fairmont Golf, Canada
- Google, USA
- Ferrari, USA
- Mercedes Benz, USA
- Vancouver Tourism, Canada
- Government of Canada, Health Canada, Canada
- Vancouver Trolley, Canada
- Exxon Mobil, USA
- Target, USA
- Sparkasse, Germany
- Tehran City Hall, Iran
- Insight Magazine, Canada
- Karakter Uitgervers publishing, Netherland
- Alliance printing and publishing, Canada
- Generation Printing, Canada
- Amanprana, USA
- Collins Stationery, New Zealand
- Gastroeien Sports, Netherland
- Waterschap, Netherland
- McChaon House Museum, New Zealand
- EverEscents, Australia
- Artotel Amsterdam, Netherland
- AFAS software, Netherland
- NOEL’S FOOD, USA
- Heerlijke Tea, Netherland
- Dimples Organic, USA
- Daiso, Japan
- Queen of Flowers, Global
- Alberta Tourism, Canada
- Terrapura Wine, Chile
- Gunter’s Fables, Global
- American Biltrite, USA
- One Drop, Canada
- Kids 4 Kids, Hong Kong
- Triumph & Disaster, New Zealand
- Sunpak, Japan
- Silver Fern Farms, New Zealand
- Merrell, USA
- HSH Hotel, China
- El Mercurio Club, Ecuador
- Chucao Fishing Lodge, Chile
- Toronto Zoo, Canada
- Ramada Hotel, USA
- Cantebury Sunglasses, UK
Who are the competitors globally manufacturing this type of paper?
To the best of our knowledge we cannot think of any other manufacturer producing our paper with the same quality at the same volume.
Would you say Stone Paper is ultimately a substitute for paper or plastic?
Stone Paper has the capabilities of paper as well as compatibility of plastic.
Our intention is not to replace or substitute any products. Stone Paper is an alternative product suited for applications where advantages of paper and plastic are desired at the same time.
What applications is Stone Paper best suited for?
Even though there are endless applications suited for Stone Paper, we still recommend the paper to be used as an alternative option to paper treated products such as paper treated with PE or Wax.
With benefits such as waterproof, tear resistant, fire retardant, and grease repellent, to name a few, Stone Paper applications are only limited by your imagination. The sky is the limit. Everybody in their own field of expertise is welcome to try it out and see if it benefits them in any way.
Please refer to http://www.stoneagepack.com/products/ for most commercial and industrial applications.
Is there a specific temperature that the Stone Paper starts to crumble?
It is sensitive to anything over 105 degrees Celsius during printing.
Our Stone Paper is not suitable for coffee cups, but it is perfectly fine for cold beverages.
Is Stone Paper suitable for IML (In Mould Labelling)? Would it print by normal offset or does it need special printing method and special ink?
Technically for IML (In mould labelling) on stone paper products, our roll of SP50 micron would be most suitable. Many converters don’t disclose their techniques for some of the applications, but we had great success with some of the tests we carried out with yogurt containers. The test showed our paper’s great performance when fused onto the container. No special ink is required as stone paper is a very fast drying paper. As with any paper, we also have easy to follow instructions for printing which is normally provided to printers and converters for efficient and seamless service.
Is Stone Paper suitable for hot beverage such as tea or coffee?
Stone Paper tolerates temperature variances from -65 to +70 degrees Celsius. According to our tests till now, if water is boiled constantly for long period of time (tested up-to 30 min) in aStone Paper cup, the HDPE resin used as bonding agent starts to soften. Therefore for liability purposes we will not ensure the compatibility of the product for hot beverages. For cold beverage such as juices, the product is perfectly fine.
Is Stone Paper suitable for heat sealing applications?
Currently the heat sealing time can only be performed at 70 hits per min, which means that only 70 units can be heat sealed per minute. This is well below the standard requirement of 165 per min for slow machines and 600 per min for fast machines. Heat sealing is when a hot blade hits the 2 papers and blends / fuses them together. Traditionally with pulp paper, it is done by adding or laminating another layer of plastic onto the paper to give the heat sealing effect.
The issue we have faced which is now being worked on at the product development stage is that when the hot blade hits the paper, the heat is transferred and absorbed by the calcium carbonate. The natural properties and characteristics of the calcium carbonate, (also applicable for most stones) is to absorb the heat without immediate releasing factor. Therefore currently when the hot blade hits the paper, the heat is absorbed by the calcium carbonate without immediate release, resulting in direct affect to the HDPE and shrinkage of the paper.
At this moment we will be bringing the raw material and will be performing treatments in house using nano technology to treat the original rich mineral component at the molecular or atomic level, hence decreasing the heat absorbency ratio of the mineral with the hope that the treated calcium carbonate portion behaves according to our requirements.
This aspect of the finished product is undergoing further development and testing.
What type of printing methods is suitable for Stone Paper?
Stone Paper is suited for the following printing methods:
- Web/Sheet Offset Lithographic
- UV Web/Sheet Offset Lithographic
- Digital (Latex/ solid ink) low heat machines
Is Stone Paper suitable for digital printing machines?
Stone Paper is only suitable on select machines. Most digital machines create high degree of heat (up-to 400 degrees Celsius) to fuse the ink into the paper. This creates a softening effect of the HDPE resin and therefore our Stone Paper starts to soften out. As a result the paper could get wrinkled or jammed in the machine. Sometimes it could even show the preliminary shrinkage signs as it comes out of the machine which could fail the product in the quality control division of the finishing plant.
Now, not all digital machines create heat. There are some digital machines such as HP Indigo and Xerox 700-800 which do not. Because we don’t want to damage the market, we would rather not advertise digital capabilities until such time when we could bring the capability on board 100%. For the time being Stone Paper has only shown compatibility with HP Indigo and Xerox 700-800 machines.
Is Stone Paper suitable for office laser printers, photocopiers or toner printers?
No. Stone Paper is still not suitable for laser printers or photocopiers because our Stone Papers are photo-degradable, meaning degrading with the intensity of UV light. When it is used in laser printers and UV is exposed onto the paper, the paper reacts to the UV light and starts the degrading mechanism. Therefore laser printers are a NO GO at this point in time.
The Stone Paper is still under development for toner printers.
Does Stone Paper require special ink or treatment for print applications? Does it accommodate most post press applications?
Stone Paper can be printed using conventional ink without any special treatment. It can accommodate both water and soy-based inks.
Depending on the application, Stone Paper can also be gusseted, heat sealed, sewn, mounted with grommets, and outfitted with hemp, nylon, rope, or even economical TR cotton, etc…
Is Stone Paper recyclable and degradable?
Yes, our Stone Papers are recyclable, meaning the same product can be made from its own waste. Our Stone Papers are also photo-degradable. Which means they degrade according to the intensity of UV they are exposed to in the landfills in different regions of the world. For instance, if they are in Vancouver, it might take about a year and half to degrade. If they are in Saudi Arabia, it might take 6 months. But that’s direct UV exposure without any barrier. That is not the case for printed materials exposed to sun by an office window. The photo-degradability for recycling purposes is only in the landfills where there is direct UV exposure with the mass weight of other trash which plays a crushing factor. When the HDPE degrades, the molecules of the resin are broken down which gives it the effect of a very thin layer of brittle material such as dried paint or very fragile / brittle eggshell effect. Essentially when the HDPE is broken down the rest of the material is calcium carbonate (Rich Mineral) which is an abundant element in nature.
Just need to touch a bit more with respect to recycling factors. Even though a recycling identification (no.2) has been assigned to this product, but since the global volume of the Stone Paper is very low compared to the pulp paper, at its current low volume, the Stone Paper can actually be put in any recycling stream such as paper, plastic, glass, etc..without adversely affecting or damaging the existing recycling streams. Reason being is because some degree of calcium carbonate is used essentially in most products as a natural element. With the increase in volume of Stone Paper, the product will eventually find its own stream side by side with other recycling items.
Should anyone be concerned with respect to the plastic component being toxic in a landfill?
As previously mentioned, our paper is photodegradable, not biodegradable.
HDPE is not naturally biodegradable since its molecular structure breaks down with the intensity of natural UV light.
When HDPE molecular structure breaks down, the HDPE loses its elasticity and crumbles into pieces like eggshell under pressure. Therefore its effectiveness is destroyed.
The entire degradability of the product is valid in landfills with the landfill environment consisting of the weight of the trash, constant UV exposure, and natural interaction with other waste and chemical reactions present in the landfill, etc….
With our Cradle to Cradle or regenerative design certification, which is the biometric approach to the design of products and system, there is hardly any concern with respect to the no-toxic HDPE component in the landfill. Our certification models human industry on nature’s processes viewing materials as nutrients circulating in healthy, safe metabolisms.
How long does the plastic component take to degrade?
The non-toxic HDPE takes about 6-18 months depending on the intensity of UV to start breaking down.
Can Stone Paper get recycled with paper? Can it be recycled with Plastic? Would the HDPE content contaminate any of the streams?
At the current low market volume for stone paper, compared to more than 400 million metric ton of paper in the recycling stream; yes, our stone paper can be put into a paper recycling bin. Relatively speaking our Stone Paper volume is currently not even 1/10 of one percent of the global paper market.
But at high volumes, meaning when our paper gains a significant portion of the market share, it is recommended to get recycled with no. 2 recycling products.
At the current volume, when our stone paper is recycled with regular paper, the HDPE portion will not contaminate the stream due to the extreme low percentage and non-toxic HDPE characteristic relative to the whole paper recycling stream.
In the current paper recycling bins there are lots of plastic films on top of most prints (magazine covers, catalogues, brochures, business cards, boxes, packaging, store bags, etc…). Those plastic films made with polypropylene or even LDPE are normally applied as protective layer on top of most printed items to protect and lock / settle the ink .Those protective plastic films are more toxic than the low level non-toxic HDPE content in Stone Paper.
According to City of Toronto website below, currently most of the items which even contain toxic plastic protective layers are considered acceptable in the recycling bins, let alone non-toxic HDPE content of Stone Paper.
The recycling process with plastic doesn’t get contaminated with Stone Paper since HDPE is non-toxic and it is recycled with no. 2 plastic recycling items.
In terms of the calcium carbonate content mixed in plastic or paper recycling bins, this substance doesn’t contaminate any of those materials streams since calcium carbonate is considered a natural element of earth and is usually used as filler in both paper and plastic industries.
How could Stone Paper be useful in landfills?
In some countries such as New Zealand and Australia waste management companies use calcium carbonate as an expediting agent for processing waste. Our paper with high level of calcium carbonate content contributes to a significant level of savings for waste management companies in their waste processing system.
Can you elaborate on the photo-degradability of Stone Paper?
As previously mentioned, our paper is photodegradable, not biodegradable.
Under the notion of biodegradability, substances can take up-to 20 years to decompose by bacteria or other living organisms.
In the eyes of the Federal Trade Commission, FTC, if something is biodegradable it must break down to elements of nature in one year using customary disposal methods. In the US, customary disposal of solid materials means a landfill, an incinerator, or a recycling facility. Not a composting facility. Not your backyard garden.
The notion of biodegradability doesn’t apply to our product since the main element of the substance is calcium carbonate (CaCO3). This substance is already a natural element of earth which in plain language could be considered as already “decomposed”. Therefore the only content of Stone Paper which needs to be broken down is the low level HDPE.
In all, our stone paper would actually qualify more to be a “biodegradable” material in the eyes of the FTC than other products, Even though its structure and composition are not even applicable.
As it was indicated previously, HDPE is not naturally biodegradable since its molecular structure needs to break down with the intensity of natural UV light. Therefore since natural UV light (with or without sunlight) is always present it automatically penetrates the loose pile of landfill and therefore makes its effect onto the HDPE component of the paper in landfill environment.
Please note the photo degradability for the purpose of our discussion is relevant to landfill.
For instance, stone paper sitting on an office desk by the window doesn’t decompose since it’s not in a “landfill environment”.
By Stone Paper being photo-degradable, does that mean if we produce books or boxes from Stone Paper and leave them in the sun which includes UV, the paper will disintegrate?
No, The entire degradability of the product is valid in landfills with the landfill environment consisting of the weight of the trash, constant UV exposure, and natural interaction with other trash and chemical reactions present in the landfill, etc….
What are the effects of stone paper based products on animals such as cows and dogs on consumption and on environment if dumped say in oceans?
Even though Stone Paper is FDA compliant, our consumption recommendations and notice standards are the same as other non-food items for live beings.
Can the paper be made biodegradable?
Photo-degradability is the next generation from biodegradability. In relations to treated papers or plastic, we cannot downgrade the technology to match biodegradability standards. In fact we cannot make the product to slow down its degradability aspects. Our stone paper degrades within 6 months to 1.5 years. Unfortunately we cannot prolong its degradability any longer.
Does FSC or PEFC certifications apply to Stone Paper products?
Due to its revolutionary manufacturing process, the environmental and sustainability certifications for Stone Paper are different to wood fibre paper. No forest management certification, such as FSC, or PEFC is required for Stone Paper as no wood fibre is present.
Is Stone Paper FDA certified?
There is one type of our Stone Paper which is FDA compliant. What needs to be noted for FDA compliance is that even though a product might be FDA approved, but those approvals are only general and for each food application, specific approvals must be obtained.
Reason: Different foods have different chemical characteristics and therefore we must be absolutely certain that the food application being used in connection with our paper doesn’t create any adverse chemical reaction to negatively affect the integrity of the food or characteristics of the paper. For example to use the wrap for bread purposes are fine, but to use it for wrapping lemon might not be. It’s not the lemon or the paper itself that is the problem. If the paper is not properly converted into a food wrapping paper, the lemon’s acid touching the edge of the paper horizontally without the edge of the paper being protected with the protective coating might create a chemical reaction when in contact with the calcium carbonate and therefore not compliant with FDA regulations. This is currently being resolved with wax or an additional layer of plastic in the pulp paper industry. We can resolve this issue by double folding the edge of the paper so that the horizontal edge do not come in contact with food.
FDA Compliance Certificate for the code of Federal Regulations with respect to soluble and extractable matter as an environmental paper and food grade suitability. http://www.sgs.com/laboratories?catId=10655&lobId=5548&type=service
Many FDA and other related tests have been carried out on Stone Paper products and copies of these tests are available on request should a particular use of Stone Paper demand such test results and certifications.
What does REACH, and ROHS certifications mean?
Stone Paper has achieved ROHS & REACH Testing (SGS) www.rohs-international.com. No chemicals, heavy metals or minerals (heavy metals) listed known to be dangerous to humans or the environment are detected. http://echa.europa.eu/regulations/reach
What is CRADLE TO CRADLE certification?
Stone Paper (Certain Grades apply) has been certified for its material content, recyclability, and manufacturing characteristics. http://www.c2ccertified.org/(licensed by C2CPII)
The Certification is a multi-attribute eco-label that assesses a product’s safety to humans and the environment and design for future life cycles. The program provides guidelines to help businesses implement the Cradle to Cradle framework, which focuses on using safe materials that can be disassembled and recycled as technical nutrients or composted as biological nutrients. Unlike single-attribute eco-labels, MBDC’s certification program takes a comprehensive approach to evaluating the design of a product and the practices employed in manufacturing the product. The materials and manufacturing practices of each product are assessed in five categories: Material Health, Material Reutilization, Renewable Energy Use, Water Stewardship, and Social Responsibility.
Is the technology patented with your company? If not who has the patent?
Stone Paper making technology is patented in 40 different countries.
Stone Paper is manufactured and supplied through a group of partners who have formed a confederation with sharing interest in the paper making technology.
Due to complex legal and taxation ramifications, a Taiwanese entity has been incorporated in the early 1990′s with heads consisting of the confederated member countries (US, Canada, Australia, Taiwan) to develop the modern technology, hold and maintain the patent as well as oversee all production and manufacturing facilities.