I wasn’t expecting to see this at The Gadget Show, but it was interesting nevertheless. Parax Paper is paper made from stone rather than wood. Instead of cellulose, the main constituent is calcium carbonate, the mineral in both limestone and chalk. Unsurprisingly, this gives the paper a naturally white appearance and is extremely smooth to the touch. Best of all, it’s waterproof!
In comparison to ordinary paper, it’s less environmentally damaging on a number of fronts. Production uses no water and there’s no damaging acids or alkalis used in the process. Parax Paper is recyclable and it photo-degrades in about a year. On the downside, inks take a little longer to dry as the surface isn’t as porous as normal paper and it can’t be used in laser printers as the carbon-based toner won’t bind with the surface.
However, there was wide range of Parax Paper products on show, including notepads, stationery, envelopes, paper bag and plates. Their website doesn’t yet seem to have an on-line store but in the meantime, you can listen to my interview with Parax Sales Director Simon Stockford.