Paper was invented around 100 BC in China, since its discovery it has been an integral part of our lives. In order to catch up with population growth, the demand for paper is projected to grow up to 7.8% per annum and the paper industry will have to churn out 22 million tons of paper and paperboards by 2025. Keeping this in mind, the reduction of paper usage seems to be impractical on a large scale. Besides that, paper as a commodity has limited ways to be reused, which leaves us the only option to recycle it. Although recycling is the only viable option, the main hurdle is the low collection rate of paper waste.
But, all that was before we heard of this concept called Seed Paper created and conceptualized by Jaipur-based Tomato & Co., which has sold 7.5 lakhs sheets of this paper so far.
The paper is made by shredding organic pulp and soaking it in water. It is then placed on screens, flattened, sun-dried, rolled a couple of times and then smoothened out into sheets. While planting the paper in the soil, it first needs to be shredded and put into a pot of soil with a 1/4 to 1/2 inch layer of soil on top. The pot needs to be placed in Sun and watered regularly. The sapling appears in 10-15 days. The soil needs to be kept wet till the sapling appears, after which it can be watered as required.
The most commendable feature of the Plantable Paper is that it is completely made out of residual organic waste produced from cotton factories and is free from any wood pulp. Even the dyes used to give the vibrant hues to the paper are organic dyes like Indigo, Cochineal, Weld, and Cutch, making the paper completely safe and environment-friendly.The fruits and vegetables obtained from these plants are perfectly safe for consumption since no chemicals are involved in the process of manufacturing paper.
Tomato & Co. has moved past just tomato seeds and has now managed to make paper that contains lavender, chilies, carrot, jasmine, basil, lemon mint, lettuce, marigold, sunflower, wheat, parsley, and orange too. this papaer is being used by big brands like Kissan, Unilever, Mindshare, and TEDx.