plantable paper from Ricoh

Plantable Paper: From the printer to the flowerpot

Posted on January 22nd, 2013 · Posted in Print News
More and more companies now list ecological goals alongside profit and growth targets in their long term plans. Manufacturers of office hardware and consumables have been quick to take note of this trend and that’s why so many products now push their eco-friendliness heavily in advertising. Usually a product’s green credentials will be in its ability to save power or stretch the life span of consumables. Plantable paper, however, takes the concept a little further than that.

This increasingly popular substitute for the extremely non eco-friendly paper that runs through your office printer is not only created with biodegradable, post-consumer materials (meaning no trees get chopped up in its making), it also comes with seeds embedded in the sheet. So, when is time to throw it away, these pages do not end up in a landfill. Instead they are planted in soil, from which they sprout flowers, sprucing up the workplace and improving the earth’s oxygen.

So, plantable paper busts your carbon footprint, beautifies your office and helps save the planet – what’s not to like? Well, the price tag might be one thing. Plantable paper has been available from stationary shops and suppliers for a few years now and, though sales have been steady, it is generally considered too expensive for regular office printing and copying. Buyers tend to use it for special occasions, wedding invitations being a particularly popular use.

Recycling the paper is a pretty simple process. All you need is a flower pot, soil, water and sunshine. After planting, you simply tend to your soil regularly, watering during germination to make sure the soil stays moist. A few weeks later, hey presto, that out of date sales report has now become a beautiful snap dragon. Whether this product ever becomes cheap enough to be used for everyday purposes is unsure, but the results are certainly prettier than a bag full of shredded paper.