Canopy and YIMBY! want to help farmers and communities turn straw into gold

Vancouver, British Columbia and Greensburg, Kansas.

Today, Canopy launches a search for farm communities that would be excellent candidates for a new non-wood pulp mill. Over the past decade, Canopy has dramatically increased market demand for non-wood paper internationally, and is currently working with investors and mills interested in building new pulp and paper infrastructure in North America. YIMBY!, or Yes, In My Backyard!, asks farm communities in the wheat, rye and sorghum belts of Canada and the United States to nominate themselves as potential partners by providing information (through this simple form) that will help us identify strong candidate sites for straw pulp mills. Using straw for pulp and paper saves trees, energy and water as compared to wood pulping and could provide vital jobs and economic development for farm communities.

Did you know:

Straw residue, stalks left over from wheat harvest, can be made into excellent, high-quality paper

Canopy has already identified 1.3 million short tons of unmet demand for North American-sourced straw pulp for paper and printing use

There is a solution to forest degradation that could satisfy environmental groups, business, and farmers alike

A whole new revenue stream can be created for farmers from a product that is now burned as waste in many places

“We are always looking for win-win solutions and making paper from straw left over after the grain harvest is one that’s positive for rural communities, better for the environment and good for business,” says Nicole Rycroft, Founder and Executive Director of Canopy. “Many communities are sitting on a value-added revenue stream and we hope YIMBY! is the first step toward farmers turning that straw into gold.”

Many understand the need for better environmental paper products in order to preserve our planet and climate. What most people don’t know is that there is a wonderful alternative to wood pulp going to waste all over North America. Every year in farming communities across Canada and the U.S.A., mountains of straw are left over after the grain harvest. Without undermining traditional uses, much of this straw could be used to make high-quality papers that carry lighter environmental footprints as well as offer economic opportunities to communities.

“Our city has worked with Canopy to pull together the information needed to make it clear to investors that we are ready to be a site for a straw pulp mill.  As a model for green innovation, we encourage other communities to also say yes, let’s do this in our backyard,” invites Greensburg, Kansas Mayor Bob Dixson.

Environmental not-for-profit, Canopy has spearheaded efforts to diversify the North American paper/packaging fiber basket for the past ten years. Through a market survey of 150 major pulp and paper customers, 1.3 million short tons of annual unmet demand for papers made with straw residue was documented. To try to meet this demand, and to encourage grassroots and green economic development, Canopy is launching YIMBY!, a program to identify potential candidate sites for straw pulp mills in North America. The list of candidate sites will be shared with investors who are interested in this burgeoning green supply chain.

Canopy invites communities to join Greensburg in saying yes, let’s have green development in our backyard! Communities can fill in a short form to nominate themselves to be considered as a potential mill site. We will follow-up with more information and guidance on how to proceed. You can find the form here.

 

For more information on YIMBY!, Canopy, and straw paper, please visit the Canopy website.

For more information or interviews with YIMBY spokespeople, contact:

Laura Repas, Communications Director, Canopy, +1-416-729-7484, laura.repas@canopyplanet.org.

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