Sunaina Rana / Emirates Business
Paper from lime stone, low-grammage recycled paper and those made from sustainably sourced tree fiber — paper-producing biggies of the world are leaving no stones unturned to stay on the eco-friendly bandwagon.
Over 300 exhibitors from 36 countries showcased the latest trends in the industry at the 6th edition of Paperworld Middle East 2016, which comes to a close on Thursday. The three-day event also saw many companies launching their new products in the MENA market.
The annual event featured 7 international pavilions from Germany, Italy, China, Taiwan, Pakistan, Hong Kong and Portugal. Exhibitors from the UAE included Farook International Stationery — which exports 10 UAE paper and stationery brands worldwide —Al Gurg Stationery and Al Fahidi Stationery.
Talking to Emirates Business, Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of Paperworld Middle East’s organiser Messe Frankfurt Middle East, said, “This is the 6th edition and over the years we have witnessed an average growth of the around 5 per cent. We have around 305 exhibitors; from 36 countries out of which Portuguese have the largest pavilion and participation at the event.”
“We have a section dedicated to eco-friendly products called the Green Office. The section highlights the tremendous increase in innovative and eco-friendly products that are currently transforming the face of the industry. Parax Stone Paper is one example, while leading global manufacturers are also putting the spotlight on their latest ranges of recycled and sustainably produced paper-based products and office supplies,” added Pauwels.
British Company Parax Paper introduced the eco-friendly and fully recyclable paper during the event. John Zanjani Frsa, Director, Parax Paper elaborated on the product, “We make paper out of lime stone. It is 80 per cent lime stone and 20 per cent non-toxic, photodegradable resin, creating an extremely durable product used for a range of applications, from soap wrappers, tickets, and labels, to notebooks, paper bags, and packaging. The production uses 50 per cent less carbon, 50 per cent less energy for manufacturing.”
“Around 75000 trees are cut down just to produce ‘Sunday Times News Paper’ every week,” he said, expressing concern over exploitation of trees. “However, by using limestone as the core product and usage of fiberless, pulp-free, naturally white product that uses absolutely no trees, water, bleach or acid in its production, we can take a step towards conservation,” he pointed out.
According to Harvey Djanogly, Director of Parax Paper, “If we were to replace one tonne of virgin pulp paper with one tonne of stone paper, we’d save 15,000 gallons of water. We believe that everyone has an interest in being more eco-friendly, and we offer people a way to carry out this aim with no loss of comfort or practicality.”
“Lessening paper usage was predicted during the digital revolution but this didn’t happen,” Djanogly said. “The demand for paper is expected to double before 2030, and if we can influence people to switch to more eco-friendly sources, that would be terrific. Even better if we could bring production of our product to the Middle East.”
World’s 6th largest paper producer, The Navigator Company — based in Portugal —also joins the eco-friendly initiative, with its new ‘Navigator Advanced 75g’ — a premium low-grammage recycled paper, which was launched at the event. “We developed a hybrid product of virgin fibers and recycled fibers. Keeping the eco-friendly aspect in mind, we have reduced the grammage of the paper (the standard grammage is 80g of a paper) which contributes to cut down on our resources,” said Antonio Quirino Soares, International Key Account, The Navigator Company.
On the same lines, Thirawit Leetavorn, Senior Executive Vice President of Thai manufacturer Double A also shared details on the company’s eco-friendly products. “Double A produces paper only with sustainably sourced tree fiber. Our trees are called Paper Trees from KHAN-NA. Khan-na is the empty ridge of land between rice fields. Thailand has an abundance of rice fields. By growing trees along the ridge, we sustainably source our trees and generate additional income for the farmers.”
“Our unique Paper from KHAN-NA is recognised by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). PEFC created a category called Trees Outside Forest (TOF) which is a specific category for the way we grow our trees,” he added.
“Paperworld gives us the chance to bring the Double A story closer to every stakeholder in the region. The event gets industry experts, business associates and customers from all over the world, together under one roof. It is the perfect platform to understand market demands and how the industry is developing to meet those fast-changing demands. We always have a successful Paperworld as we address our stakeholders from the region face to face,” Leetavorn said.
The Green Office continues to attract more and more trade visitors due to growing demand for eco-friendly and recycled paper products and stationery that exists among regional consumers.
“We also have introduced green recycle competition at the UAE schools to raise awareness among the children about the power of recycling. The success of the Green Office Area at Paperworld Middle East indicates the growing awareness among regional consumers of the importance of sustainably produced paper-based products and stationery,” said Ahmed Pauwels.
Ahmed Pauwel also elaborated on the paper business prospects in the region as a whole, “Approximately all the companies worldwide spend around 50 per cent out of their marketing budget on exhibitions. Thus, events like Paperworld help the exhibitors generate around 60 to 70 per cent of business.”
“Though recession is hitting different parts of the world, MENA region has high prospects as the region is still developing, especially Africa. Therefore, this region plays a significant role in the micro economical prospective for the MENA region. We believe that we will not have to witness any decline,” he said.
Other companies which showcased their exhibits at the Green Office Area include Telepaper from Malaysia, German adhesive producer Tesa; and NGR Paper from Dubai. Paperworld Middle East 2016 is expected attract more than 6,000 trade buyers from 105 countries.