I had the opportunity to visit a paper making factory in India. Known for its 100% recyclable products, they make paper from cotton waste. They’ve teamed up with local garment factories, to utilize the leftover pieces of fabrics. They use only 100% white cotton waste, which allows them to dye the cotton waste into whichever color they use.
Here, the village women sort through the cotton fabrics, and make them into piles.
Next the piles of white cotton fabrics and put through some sort of grinder, cutting them into small tiny pieces of material.
Once the left over fabric pieces have been shredded or cut into small bits, they are soaked in a huge vat, allowing them to absorb the liquid fully and the breakdown of the composition of the material.
The fibers are ready to be processed into large sheets of paper, ready to be dyed.
With a large machine that looks like a printing press, excess water is squeezed out, and is almost ready for the heating and drying process.
The paper mill produces roughly 10,000 to 12,000 sheets of large paper a day! They come is all sorts of lovely colors, ready to be shipped off to different parts of the world.
A very cool component of their business is “seed paper”. Small seeds for plants are shipped to them by their clients and are embedded into the papers, ready to be shipped back to their clients. The papers are all made by hand and naturally dried. This way the seeds endure only a little but of “processing”, which further allows them to germinate. These sheets of papers are made into greeting cards, wrapping paper much more. Once a customer sends a card to a loved one, with the seed, they tear them into little pieces and plant in pots under some soil and eventually the little seed starts growing into a plant. It’s a brilliant idea!
Next time send your loved one a wonderful “seed” card and see what it grows into.