Manufacturing Paper from Straw
Who is manufacturing?
There are already a few companies leading the development of straw paper in North America, while straw based paper is also being imported from India. Here are a few of the proponents.
In 2015, Global tissue products provider, Kimberly-Clark expanded their line of Green Harvest products in North America, offering 20% wheat straw tissue manufactured in the USA with wheat straw from US farms. In doing so Kimberly –Clark has developed the first North American wheat straw supply chain. And the company has committed to procure 50 percent of it’s fiber needs from ‘alternative sources’ (not trees) by 2025.
Columbia Pulp is a private company with plans to build a multimillion-dollar plant near Starbuck, WA, USA to convert wheat and alfalfa straw into pulp. The plant will require approximately 240,000 tons of straw annually. The company plans to get that from farms within a 75-mile radius. The proposed plant will produce 140,000 tons of paper-grade pulp per year that will be sold to packaging and personal care product companies.
Step Forward Paper is copy paper manufactured in India. It is made of 80 per cent wheat-straw residue and 20 percent Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood fiber. It is a high-quality and affordably priced straw-based copy paper imported to the US and available at Staples and Staples.com as well as other locations. Prairie Paper is the broker. The company is exploring options to build a 100% straw fiber paper mill in North America.
According to media reports and the company’s website, Tranlin, Inc., is the U.S. subsidiary of a large Chinese pulp and paper company. In Spring 2014 they announced a planned investment of $2 billion over the next five years to build and operate a straw pulp manufacturing facility in Chesterfield County, Virginia. The company’s investment in this state-of-the-art facility represents the largest foreign direct investment ever led by a China-based, privately owned company in the U.S and is projecting it will generate more than 2,000 direct jobs in Virginia by 2020.
Aloterra now offers, on a small scale, a non-wood pulp for compostable foodservice ware made with a non-invasive perennial grass crop called Miscanthus. Aloterra plans to scale up to commercial production.
India and China
About 30 percent of India’s paper  and about 20% of the paper manufactured in China is made from agricultural residue and/or non-wood fibers. There are many mills – modern, commercial scale facilities – that produce pulp that is used pure or is mixed with other fibers such as recycled or virgin wood pulp to make paper and packaging.