The process of making paper impacts our environment from beginning to end. It starts with deforestation and ends its life by being burned- emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Not only this, but it is also leading to biodiversity loss, disrupts the water cycle, and alters rainfall patterns.
Although recycling papers is a good thing, how about the way to reuse these papers
Now Scientists at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) have come up with the solution. They have developed a pollen-based ‘paper’ that not only allows the text to be printed on it, but also reused it multiple times without any damage to the paper.
The process of making this wonder paper is similar to traditional soap-making. Researchers explained that high-resolution color images could be printed on these papers using a laser printer. The paper can also be ‘unprinted’ when required with an alkaline solution.
Moreover, it can again be printed without compromising its integrity or the quality of the printed images. This process could be repeated up to at least eight times.
Eco-friendly alternative to conventional wood-based paper
Prof Subra Suresh, NTU President and senior author of the paper, said, “This is a new approach to paper recycling — not just by making paper in a more sustainable way, but also by extending the lifespan of the paper so that we get the maximum value out of each piece of paper we produce. The concepts established here, with further developments in scalable manufacturing, could be adapted and extended to produce other “directly printable” paper-based products such as storage and shipping cartons and containers.”