The mail order business is on the rise and more and more shipping boxes are needed and then thrown away after only one use. Every year 22 million tons of paper waste are generated, not all of it is cardboard but it makes up a significant portion. This is where Papress steps in and reduces the amount of single-use cardboard, through giving it a new life.
The starting material is ordinary cardboard. It is collected from large industrial plants or private individuals in cities. Care is taken to ensure that it is free of glue or labels so that the end product is as pure as possible. The cardboard is shredded with the help of a shredder in order to be able to process it better. It is then turned into a pulp with the addition of water. Clear rainwater can also be used here to make the resulting product even more sustainable.
In the following step, excess water is removed to make the mass as dense as possible. With the help of special tools, the dewatered pulp is placed in a mould and then pressed with up to 5 tons of force. If the mass is not compressed properly, irregularities may occur. This can show up in an unsightly surface, cracks or air inclusions. This makes it possible to create an extremely strong bond that is free of any adhesive or binder. The result is an entirely sustainable material that can be returned to its cycle at any time. Furthermore, it is possible at any time to place the product in nature and watch its decomposition process.
The material burns poorly and is as hard as stone. The surface is different for each piece and gives a wonderful natural colour. So it can be used wonderfully for the interior. Visually, it strongly resembles wood or cork. It also feels similar.
Until now, paper or cardboard could only be recycled to a certain point, because after each cycle the fibres become a little shorter. At some point, they are so short that no new paper or cardboard can be made from it. Papress, on the other hand, can take even extremely short fibres and give them a new life. After the products made from Papress have reached the end of their life, they can simply be dissolved in water again and reprocessed.
The material is also very impact and break resistant, which allows a wide range of uses. The material can be painted and otherwise coated to make it waterproof. This would also make it suitable for outdoor use. From a sustainable point of view, however, this is not advisable, as it creates a composite material that cannot be added to its cycle.
In the future, there will be more and more waste and Papress intervenes to create a world that uses what it consumes not only once but over and over again.
The lampshade is 3D printed from PETG (recycled plastic bottles).
Information submitted by the maker and edited by the Future Materials Bank.