Stone Paper, Not as Recyclable as You Might Think

Published: 24-May-2018

“Stone paper” has been shown on TV as being a product that is better for the environment than paper produced from wood pulp. While that may be the case with regard to how it is produced, unfortunately it can’t be recycled in Canterbury.

Stonepaper MaterialStone paper is a calcium carbonate bonded with HDPE (No. 2 plastic) and is classed as a plastic, not paper, BUT it is mixed-material and we can’t accept it for recycling in the kerbside bin or at the transfer station.

EcoCentral, which processes our paper and plastics, says it would most likely be a contaminant in the mixed plastics stream, and that while it appears it can be recycled into either # 2 plastics or back into Stone paper, for this to be successful it would need to be collected and processed separately to their recycling processes. There is no collection channel in Australasia to send the waste paper back to the Mill for recycling.

The suppliers state that stone paper is photo-degradable, reverting to calcium carbonate in extended sunshine and the resin is absorbed by the atmosphere without harmful effects. It will take 12 to 18 months to break down, dependent on which product is involved, and as it is not bio-degradable it cannot be composted.

Please check flyers, pamphlets and glossy ‘paper’ bags once you’ve finished with them to see if they’re made from Stone paper. This information is typically printed on the product. If they are, they can’t be recycled but will have to go in your rubbish bag or bin.