Journalist Jurriaan Kamp uses Earth’s most basic element to print his magazine
Innovators have developed a new, more sustainable paper alternative that could revolutionize the future of print and replace 50% of the world paper market.
And here’s the crazy part.
It’s made of stone.
Stone paper, currently made from rocks in unreclaimed mines, is made of 80% stone and 20% plastic. The plastic acts as a glue to bind the ground-up stone together, leaving a smooth and durable paper surface. In addition to unlimited available resources to create the paper, stone paper is infinitely recyclable by using heat to break down the elements before binding them back together.
Though only four manufacturers in the entire world are printing stone paper, Montecito journalist Jurriaan Kamp has already adopted the sustainable option for use in his magazine, Kamp Solutions. The past three issues of the magazine were printed on stone paper manufactured in China, and all future editions will be printed on this paper alternative.
Over 25 years, Mr. Kamp has developed a passion for innovative solutions to some of the world’s toughest problems. Starting as a journalist in a Netherlands newsroom, Mr. Kamp felt the news focused too much on problems rather than solutions. He wanted to change that.
Mr. Kamp calls himself a “solutions journalist,” a title that reflects his desire to report on groundbreaking solutions rather than focusing solely on society’s problems. He founded the Santa Barbara-based Optimist Daily more than two decades ago, and his new magazine, Kamp Solutions, features stories about solutions to environmental issues, world hunger and health crises, among other topics.
Inspired by the innovative solutions he was writing about, Mr. Kamp began pondering how he could implement solutions into his publication. After first hearing of stone paper nearly a decade ago and eyeing its development, the answer became clear: Stone paper was the way forward.
“When you work on solutions for 25 years, you come across many solutions,” Mr. Kamp told the News-Press at his Montecito home.
“When we launched this new magazine, we started thinking and talking about what a fun idea it would be to use one of the solutions that we write about to actually present it in real life through the magazine,” he said.
Stone paper is a sustainable solution that will always have unlimited resources, he said.
While paper can only be recycled between five and 10 times before the plant fibers no longer stick together, stone paper “can be recycled as long as there is planet Earth,” Mr. Kamp said.
Due to its mineral-based makeup, stone paper can be melted down by heat, leaving a pile of sand and plastic that can be bound together again to make more paper.
Mr. Kamp and his fiancée, Nancy Reed McGrath, produce the magazine together and have become huge proponents of stone paper over the years. The couple are determined to bring a stone paper factory to the U.S. in the next three years. They’re hopeful that many mining areas in the country will provide ample opportunity for manufacturing.
Mines produce rock waste and must be reclaimed, meaning that “the adverse environmental effects of surface mining are minimized and mined lands are returned to a beneficial end use,” according to the California Department of Conservation.
By using this required reclamation process to create stone paper, Ms. McGrath said manufacturers would create a sustainable and profitable business model.
“It’s expensive for (mining companies) to reclaim the land,” Ms. McGrath told the News-Press. “They can turn it into these products and actually make it a viable business rather than spending extra money and have a (stone paper) product that doesn’t use water or trees.”
As interest grows in stone paper manufacturing, Mr. Kamp said it is likely that large shipping companies such as Amazon and FedEx will adopt stone paper cardboard boxes to ship their items. Not only is stone paper more durable than cardboard, it is also waterproof.
Even the physical stone paper in Mr. Kamp’s magazine crinkles before it tears and can withstand water droplets without a smudge.
In addition, the use of stone paper cardboard would revolutionize the paper market and environment, bringing much-needed growth back to forests that are currently used as a source for paper, Mr. Kamp said.
“If we would turn the 50% of the world paper market, which is now going to be used to make cardboard, if we would be able to turn all of that into stone paper cardboard, that means all of those tree farms could actually become forests because then you’d just let them grow and other species will come in,” Mr. Kamp said. “That is a major regeneration of nature project.”