Taking stock in the rock hard paper industry

23 June 2015

Rockstock, the stone paper brand, has won the National Energy Globe Award for New Zealand and is in the running for the Energy Globe World Awards.

Rockstock paper – made  from the rock wastage in quarries – is durable, suitable for a wide variety of purposes and, according to CEO of the Stone Paper Company Alan Good, doesn’t create chemical waste, carbon  emissions from tree-felling or waste water (the process is cyclic) during production. There is no water-borne, airborne or solid waste during manufacture.

Alan hopes that winning the award will raise awareness of the benefits of stone paper products. “We have limited funding for marketing – we’re just doing what we can,” he says.

“Most people don’t realise that the existing paper industry is the third largest polluter globally.”

The Energy Globe Awards website backs Alan’s claim, saying, “The [paper] industry creates a massive 320 billion tonnes of CO2 annually and uses 28,239 litres of fresh water per tonne of paper produced and 30 million tonnes of chlorine (for bleaching).”

Rockstock does not create any water-borne waste as no water is used during production –- nor does it use chemicals such as chlorine.  According to the Energy Globe website, the production of stone paper saved more than 40 million trees from being cut down in the last year alone.   

The rocks for the paper are sourced from the waste from quarries and the mills are strategically placed close by so all solid (trim) waste goes back into production.

“The mining of marble to make marble tiles produces a lot of waste and offcut: rock that’s no good, that’s not the right size, or shape. Rockstock paper is made from what is not used for tiles.

“Rockstock is completely recyclable with off cuts being turned into paper and is also compostable and photo-degradable eventually turning back to stone powder,” says Alan.

Alan says that’s not bad for a company and industry that, he was told, would never make it out of the ‘cottage industry’ phase.

“We have a distributor that delivers Rockstock across the New Zealand and the Pacific.

We have some notebooks going to Norway and we make carry bags that go to the USA, Australia and other countries.” Rockstock is waterproof, grease proof, freezer grade, tear resistant and has many useful properties being able to be printed by most processes and producing a wide range of products.

Rockstock’s rich mineral non-toxic papers made from stone are certified by Environmental Choice, Cradle2Cradle, Rohs, REACH, and manufactured under ISO14001 ,9001, FDA and many other tests.

Alan’s hoping that the award win will not only raise awareness of stone paper locally but also help expand into new territories. There is a stone paper mill planned for South Africa and plans are to increase output considerably over the coming year.

The Energy Globe Awards, founded in Austria in 1999, recognise sustainable solutions from around the world with a focus on energy. This year, national awards were presented to 177 different countries.