The Pathway to Next-Generation Solutions
The world’s Ancient and Endangered Forests do not have to be cut down to make paper, packaging, or viscose-type (MMCF) textiles. Modern Next Gen technologies are already coming onto market to make paper from agricultural residues like leftover wheat straw, and to make viscose/Lyocell textiles from used cotton fabric or microbial cellulose. Currently most paper and viscose products are made by cutting down forests and sending the trees to a pulp mill to strip out the cellulose fibre and remove the lignin, mainly through a chemical process.
Next Gen Solutions also encompass smart logistics systems and product redesign, like re-usable shipping boxes and clothing rental services, to enable businesses to use of far less raw resources. By using Next Gen alternatives, we don’t waste precious forest habitat, but we do reduce carbon emissions and enable a circular economy. Waste not, want not!
Compared to conventional wood pulp, manufacturing with Next Gen alternatives use low carbon feedstocks and require, on average:
- 90% less water
- 70% less energy
- Far lower and greener chemical inputs
Switching from conventional wood to Next Gen alternatives dramatically reduces the carbon footprint and biodiversity impact of paper, packaging, and MMCF textiles. It also provides farmers with a new avenue to sell a waste by-product and diverts cotton textiles from municipal garbage heaps. All this while saving forests and avoiding the climate and pollution consequences from landfilling old clothes and burning straw residues.
Canopy wrote a ten-year action plan for removing 50% of the wood fibre from the pulp for paper and MMCF supply chain by 2030. Scaling up Next Gen manufacturing to replace conventional wood pulp is a significant element of Canopy’s work. Read the action plan ‘Survival – A Pulp Thriller: A Plan for Saving Forests and Climate’ or a summary of it here.