Photo courtesy: unisourcegreen

Photo courtesy: unisourcegreen

Imagine a shopping bag made not of paper or plastic, but crushed stone. A new material innovation is being touted as treeless paper, and it is being manufactured in Taiwan and sold under the TerraSkin brand.

I’m familiar with the product and was interested to see this week’s Business Week article about TerraSkin, which you can read here.

The material is made from recycled calcium carbonate and polyethylene, requires no water or bleach and only half the energy that manufacturing traditional paper would use. It is said to break down when exposed to sun and humidity into a talcum-like powder.

Many companies are looking at TerraSkin to not only be environmentally friendly but save on costs. It’s not a true paper, but rather a polymer or plastic film that is water- and tear-resistant. Clorox subsidiary Burt’s Bees uses TerraSkin for soap packaging and realized cost savings by substituting a layer of the material for a sheet of wax-coated paper and a printed paper cover.

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