How can the cost and shortage of paper be overcome? Apparently, the existence of numerous mines in Iran has caused managers and policymakers to produce paper from stone. For the past few years, we have found the comprehensive support of the governmental officials for the factories turning limestone into paper. What has been the benefit of this support for the country's paper market? How much of the market requirements are met by the production of these factories? Has this product been able to be welcomed by the market? We spoke with the Secretary of the Syndicate of Paper and cardboard manufacturers to consider this matter.
Just try to search for the keywords like paper made from limestone or stonepaper to face a lot of articles. The Internet is full of sites and channels that sell feasible studies for launching a factory making paper from limestone. The volume of related news is also high. Various media have covered the news regarding to the construction of this type of paper mills.
The issuance of over 120 licenses of production
Mahshid Pourdad, the Secretary of the Paper and Cardboard Manufacturers Syndicate told Gostaresh News, "The production of this type of paper is cheap and easy, so many people have turned to it. It is not clear whether the applicants for this type of mills know about the real atmosphere of this business, or they just come to this field to get loans and bank facilities. There are no exact statistics, but as far as we know, more than 120 licenses have been issued in this respect. Of course, only 5 factories have been put into operation out of which only two have become members of the Paper and Cardboard Manufacturers Syndicate."
Three times the weight of rock paper
"This paper may last for centuries," Pourdad said of the quality of the paper. Water and heat cannot harm it. If we mean quality like this, it must be said that it has a great quality, but it is completely different from the mentality that people have of paper. Most of us, when we hear the word paper, think of a product that is made of cellulose and easily returns to the cycle of nature. Rock paper, on the other hand, weighs about three and a half times as much as regular paper. You do not feel the weight of a normal book , but if it triples in weight, it will definitely be unpleasant. Therefore, this book is not particularly suitable for children and it has not been used to produce textbooks. The weight of a regular book made of rock paper is about 4 kg. "Weight books can weigh up to 12 kilograms."
Triple weight of stone paper
On the quality of this type of paper, Pourdad said, "This paper may last for centuries. Water and heat cannot harm it. By quality if we mean these kinds of parameters, it must be said that it has a great quality, but it is completely different from the mentality that people have of paper. When we hear the word paper, most of us think of a product that is made of cellulose and easily returns to the cycle of nature. On the other hand, the paper made of limestone weighs about three and a half times as heavy as the regular paper. You do not feel the weight of a normal book , but if it is tripled in weight, it will be definitely unpleasant. Therefore, this book is not particularly suitable for children, and it has not been used to produce textbooks. The weight of a regular book made of stone paper is about 4 kg. The weight of thick books can weigh up to 12 kilograms."
The customer will only buy once
The Secretary of the Syndicate of Paper and cardboard manufacturers said, "The use of this type of paper is great for items like maps for tourism, but not only is it not suitable for the production of books, presses and pamphlets, but its heavy weight puts pressure on the wrists and neck. Ring binders and folders are among the other items that make sense to be produced with stone paper, but you should also consider the factor of employment and job creation. The customer who orders this type of item will not need it for several hundred years. Therefore, the production stops at some point, and further job creation and development does not occur. It is cellulose paper that leads to sustainable employment."
The market did not welcome it
Regarding the market for this product, Mahshid Pourdad said, "The manufacturers must first receive an order, then produce accordingly. This product is very difficult to sell . It is not like cellulose paper that the market needs are endless and can be produced in any quantities. In China, this paper is used for special and luxurious packaging. The market did not welcome this product. The new and interesting nature of paper, which is not destroyed in water and fire, made it attractive at first, but in practice it was not welcomed by the market. Many owners of printing houses also refused to accept this type of paper because they believed it would damage the printing machinery. The roughness of the raw material used in this type of paper and its gradual deposition in the machines cause the destruction of the machines. The union wanted to facilitate the export of stone paper, but when there is no demand in the domestic market, its exports will not be easy, either."
She added, "Unfortunately, there was no consultation, and the Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade has given production license to these units without any expert or research work and only for the increase in production statistics. The result was that the vast majority of units in provinces such as Azerbaijan, Markazi and Hamedan have been closed or semi-closed. We, as an organization of paper and cardboard manufacturers, do not support this product because we prioritize the social health and sustainable employment."
The order will be damaged.
Moreover, Bahman Pourmand, the Vice-president of the Union of Printing Houses told Gostaresh News, "The market did not welcome this type of paper. They brought a sample of the paper for testing but it was not approved by me. The paper roughness causes the rubber of printing machines to be damaged. This paper is very heavy and the printing ink does not easily dry on it, so the order will be damaged."