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  • Is your pulp recyclable?
    Yes, because we only extract cellulose from the plant material, which can then be further processed. This means that eco:fibr products are fully recyclable, depending on their further processing, and are generally also suitable for home composting.
  • What do you think of recycled paper?
    Recycling waste paper is a very good and environmentally friendly alternative to using virgin fibers alone. However, as waste paper has to be defibered again for each recycling process, the length of the cellulose fibres is shortened with each step. As a result, it can only be recycled five to seven times. In addition, the quality of waste paper has declined over the years as more and more packaging ends up in the garbage can instead of high-quality newsprint and office paper[1]. In case you didn't know: kitchen rolls and tissues don't belong in the waste paper either! 😊 To maintain the quality of the paper, it is necessary to add fresh fibers, which are usually obtained from wood. And this is exactly where we offer the alternative to virgin wood fiber, whether for blending with recycled paper or for paper made purely from virgin fiber. [1] Kampf gegen Plastikmüll:!5591532/
  • How sustainable is your pulp compared to conventional pulp, such as FSC-certified pulp?"
    Our raw material consists of 100% ecological waste! By taking this waste material from farmers, we avoid environmentally harmful disposal. In addition, no areas need to be cleared for the cultivation of wood and existing primary forests destroyed, which is unfortunately still common practice in the conventional paper industry today. The seal of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) indicates that the wood pulp used for the paper products comes from sustainable forestry. However, certification by the FSC, for example, is controversial because the origin of the wood is not communicated transparently and FSC-certified wood still comes from primary forests. The FSC consists of three equal chambers that represent different interests: the forest dwellers, the environmentalists and the timber industry [2]. Accordingly, the measures are always a compromise between economic interests and environmental protection. By completely dispensing with wood-based raw materials, we want to make a progressive contribution to a more sustainable paper industry. [2] If you are more interested in the topic of FSC and seals, the following links to interesting articles and documentation have been compiled:
  • Why are you exporting your pulp to Europe?
    Initially, we will export our pulp to Europe, as the European market has a great need for sustainable alternative pulps that do not use wood. Nevertheless, our long-term goal is to sell eco:fibr pulp locally in Costa Rica, Latin America and America in general in order to minimize transport emissions.
  • Is your pulp still sustainable, even though you will be exporting it to Germany?"
    Yes, but we are well aware that exporting by sea is not ideal. We are continuously working on producing our pulp as sustainably as possible - from the procurement of our raw material to the process and transportation. To this end, we are currently working on our life cycle assessment and are investigating which steps generate the greatest emissions in order to reduce them. Our raw material consists of 100% ecological waste! By taking this residual material from farmers, we avoid the environmentally harmful disposal and cultivation of new raw materials and the associated clearing of new farmland. We want to set up our production facility locally in Costa Rica. This will enable us to reduce the emissions generated during transportation to a minimum. Our pulp is dried and pressed into bales before transportation. This makes it much more compact and space-saving than the plants used as raw material. To make transportation sustainable, there is also the option of combined transport. In the long term, it makes sense to sell our pulp on the American market. We want to tap into this market as soon as we have succeeded in establishing ourselves in the European market.
  • What certifications does your pulp have (e.g. FSC, Blue Angel...)?"
    There is currently no universally valid certification either for pulp made from natural agricultural residues or for the products made from it. Well-known seals, such as FSC or Blue Angel, are based on the use of wood pulp or waste paper as a raw material for paper products. As our raw material is not wood, our pulp and the products made from it are not eligible for this. However, the use of alternative pulps is becoming increasingly important for the paper industry. We would therefore like to establish our own certification so that the end customer can easily verify that this product is made from natural waste materials. Transparency along the entire value chain is very important to us. We attach great importance to the procurement of our raw materials, their clear origin, fair working conditions and high product quality.
  • How does this benefit Costa Rica's environment?
    Pineapples are not grown specifically for our pulp production and the plant materials we use are a waste material. In addition, pineapple residues are still burned on the plantations due to their poor compostability, which is a waste of usable resources and an unnecessary emission of CO2. We also pay attention to a sustainable corporate culture when choosing our cooperation plantations. We do not solve the problem of monocultures in pineapple cultivation, but by recycling the plant residues, we make a decisive contribution to more sustainable pineapple cultivation and the circular economy.
  • How do you differ from other raw materials?
    Discussions with potential customers from the paper industry have shown that there is no alternative to conventional pulp from wooden sources that can be used on an industrial scale. Many other alternative cellulose sources require an additional harvesting step. This means that a continuous supply of the raw material cannot always be guaranteed. Pineapple waste, on the other hand, is available in large quantities all year round. Our aim is to recycle all pineapple waste within Costa Rica, but also in other growing countries, as the disposal problem exists all year round, on all pineapple plantations worldwide.  With our specially developed process, we also do not use any environmentally harmful chemicals and still do not have to compromise on the resulting quality of the cellulose fibers.
  • Why don't you use plant residues from Germany or the EU?
    Of course, Germany and the EU also produce a lot of agricultural waste. This waste is often used to generate energy. Pineapple plants have received far too little attention so far, although this problem is caused by us, the consumers, through our demand for pineapples. The plant is also ideal for pulp production, which is not the case for all waste materials. The pineapple plants are just the beginning. As soon as we have managed to recycle all pineapple waste, we will turn our attention to the next waste material, such as banana plants.
  • Wood is already a renewable raw material - why do you want to use pineapple leaves?
    Every year, 224 million trees are cut down worldwide [3] to cover our consumption of paper and cardboard. This has a significant impact on our nature and our climate: areas are cleared for the cultivation of wood and existing primary forests are destroyed. This type of pulp production also requires a lot of energy and water. On the other hand, with the pineapple plant we have a residual material from pineapple cultivation that is available in large quantities - but has so far remained unused. Pineapple leaves are ideal for the production of cellulose, as they have stable fibers and a high cellulose content. By upgrading a "waste product" to a raw material, we want to conserve resources and actively combat the throwaway culture: "turning waste into purpose". [3] We make our statements based on this document: with the assumption that one tree = 3.14m^3 wood (03.09.2020)
  • Is your raw material seasonal?
    No, because due to the tropical climate and the fact that pineapple cultivation is easy to plan, year-round production of pineapple fruit is common practice on the plantations. Depending on the variety and climate, the pineapple plant needs around 11-13 months before the first fruit can be harvested. It bears an average of two fruits. After about 6 more months, the second fruit is harvested, after which the plant becomes unusable for commercial use.
  • Does your pulp smell like pineapple?
  • Where can I buy paper made from pineapple fibers?
    There is currently no paper made from pineapple pulp available for purchase. We are currently in discussions with potential partners to see where we will use eco:fibr pulp first. Possible areas of application could include classic packaging as well as hygiene and specialty papers. We will keep you up to date on our social networks. Folgt uns dazu gerne auf LinkedIn, Instagram or via our Newsletter. 😊
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