In 2015, Antalis Netherlands, one of our highly valued premium partners, participated together with the city of Almere and Dutch paper manufacturer Millvision in an aquatic plants paper project, producing paper made (partly) of aquatic plants.
The City of Almere, home town of Antalis Netherlands, is a located in a water rich area. In summertime, abundantly growing aquatic plants sometimes hinder recreational vessels and emergency services on the water. The municipality therefore needs to mow these underwater plants regularly, burdening the community with extra costs.
Giving priority to sustainable solutions, Almere searched for ways to find appropriate use for the harvested aquatic plants. Together with Millvision the use of fibers from these plants for paper manufacturing was explored. By the end of 2015, the resulting ‘Almere paper’ arrived at Antalis, a paper in which the plant fibers are clearly visible. Since 2016 the paper company sells this special paper to customers including accountancy firm KPMG, ABN Amro bank, the Province of Drenthe and office supplies company Staples.
Plates and napkin rings
The project continues with the exploration of what other products can be made from this special plant paper. The paper already has been used to produce trays for organic tomatoes and table ware including plates, napkin rings and more.
The Almere paper project closes a circle by making use of local, otherwise discarded raw materials for paper production. Instead of a cost item, the water plants have become a source of income for the community.
Circular and local
‘The aquatic water plant paper is a good example of what we think sustainability should look like in its best form – circular and local,’ says Muriël Knippers, Communication Manager at Antalis Benelux. ‘In the case of paper, this should be the product of a local economy with local collection and putting it back into the local loop of remanufacturing. Not only by recycling paper, which we promote already, but also by innovations such as the aquatic plants paper case. Bringing together the entire community can lead not only to economic growth, it can also realize sustainable ambitions.’