The story of creative reuse in Favini: the ecological papers created by upcycling
Upcycling is a key element in Favini’s history and it is on the occasion of the Comieco initiative “Paper and board recycling month”, that we want to tell the story of creative reuse in Favini through the products that have marked the development of ecological papers.
Favini has in its DNA, the principles of the circular economy and upcycling. It is these two important aspects which from an environmental perspective, has led us over the years to seek out alternative solutions using by-products as the precious raw material in the production of low impact and ecological quality papers.
What is upcycling?
According to the Wikipedia definition, upcycling, also known as creative reuse, is the process of transforming by-products, waste materials, useless, or unwanted products into new materials or products of better quality or for better environmental value.
Circular Economy, according to the definition given by Ellen MacArthur Foundation, is a generic term for defining an economy designed to be able to regenerate itself. It is where all activities are organized in order that someone’s waste becomes a resource for someone else.
Favini is one of the examples selected in the Italian Atlas of Circular Economy: an interactive web platform that records and tell the praiseworthy experiences of circular economy of Italian companies, Favini is also mentioned in 100 Italian circular economy stories presented by Fondazione Symbola and Enel.
The sea eco-friendly paper: Shiro Alga Carta
The first paper created from the upcycling principle was Shiro Alga Carta. This paper, patented by Favini in the ’90s uses the damaging algae of the Venice Lagoon whose proliferation had put at risk the lagoon’s fragile ecosystem.
It was a great success with an international repercussion, as the Venice lagoon was cleared of this algae: today the production process creatively reuses similar algae coming from other environments at risk around the world, such as Brittany, France.
Favini’s paper Crush: a new concept of recycled paper
The next step in this direction was the launch, in 2012, of Crush, the innovative range of ecological papers made with residues from agro-industrial processing of corn, citrus, kiwi, olive, almond, hazelnut, coffee, lavender, cherry and grape, used to substitute up to 15% of tree cellulose.
It is with Crush that a new way of conceiving the use of agro-industrial waste was started: as previously the residues were sent to be used as fillers in zootecnia or as fuel for the production of energy, or otherwise destined to landfill.
Thanks to Crush there is a creative re-use of these products from the food industry, transforming them into rich raw material. The result is a reduction in tree cellulose use and a new life for residues.
Crush spin-off projects with Barilla and Veuve Clicquot
In 2013, it was the turn of Carta Crusca. Made for Barilla, it is the first paper created from bran that is no longer fit for food consumption.
Barilla and Favini R&D departments worked to select the most suitable residue, purifying and milling it to make it compatible with paper fibres, replacing 20% of tree cellulose with bran.
The result is a natural coloured paper, whose main ingredient remains visible to the eye across the paper surface. Another example of creative reuse from the paper world!
In 2015, in collaboration with the Veuve Clicquot champagne house the paper produced with the by-products of the champagne production process was devised: to fully respect the environment, after the pressing of the grapes, it is the grape skin which finds a new use.
The skins are dried and milled to become raw material for the production of a unique ecological paper, saving 25% of virgin fibre.
Remake: the paper devised in the concept of upcycling
A recent achievement was Remake, launched at the end of 2015, a paper that includes 25% leather by-products, 40% of post-consumer FSC certified recycled fibre and 35% virgin FSC certified fibre.
The result is a valuable, recyclable and 100% biodegradable paper, which guarantees excellent printing and converting performance. Allowing the production of the most varied of applications, from brochures to shoppers, from tags to luxury packaging.
In addition, the leather residues remain visible to the surface giving a distinctive and surprisingly velvety tactile effect and is suitable for even the most demanding creative projects.
Refit: The new paper of creative reuse from the world of fashion
The latest innovation in upcycling papers is Refit, launched in 2019. It is the innovative sustainable material that is inspired by the world of fashion and includes fibres from industrial yarn and textile processing. It is developed in accordance to circular economy principles.
15% of fibres from textile processing by-products of wool and cotton, 40% FSC-certified post-consumer recycled fibres and 45% of FSC certified virgin wood pulp fibres constitutes the basis for Refit Wool and Refit Cotton.
Favini and the environment: all sustainability data
Favini’s attention to the environment does not stop at the research for its ecological papers and innovative raw materials, there are in fact many aspects being monitored in terms of sustainability.
All data about energy saving, water consumption, CO2 emissions, projects for the Planet, certifications, raw materials for paper production and innovation can be found at the Sustainability Channel, a web area dedicated to the theme of sustainability at Favini.
Last update December 17, 2019.