Yes, seed paper as an alternative will always be a more sustainable option than traditional paper.

This doesn't necessarily mean that all seed paper is good for the environment and understanding how your paper affects our natural world should be a key concern for all of us.

Seed paper seems like an ecological revolution just waiting to happen but why hasn't it taken off so far. The answer is more complex than you think and seed paper is produced in a vast range of ways, some more planet-friendly than others.

Let's take a closer look at the manufacturing processes of seed paper and find out if/which seed paper is good for the environment.

What is seed paper

To put it simply seed paper often referred to as plantable paper, is a form of paper embedded with seeds. The thickness, seeds within and materials used can vary greatly across the industry.

We've separated these production methods into three clear processes and analysed their impact (positive or negative) on the environment:

  • Handmade seed paper
  • FSC certified seed paper
  • Cotton seed paper

Handmade seed paper

Handmade seed paper is produced using 100% recycled paper. This can come in the form of newspapers, printing paper, marketing materials or any forms of paper that do not have a layer of lamination.

The suitable paper will be blended with paper to create a pulp. The pulp is mixed with seeds and portioned out into mould and deckles (large wooden frames with a sieve to drain excess water).

The pulp is flattened out to achieve the required thickness or GSM of each sheet. This will then be left to dry with a combination of sun and drainage from the mould and deckle's sieve.

The main environmental concern when producing this paper is simply the use of water. To achieve a suitable pulp, the recycled paper must be mixed with large amounts of fresh, clean water.

While some water will be reused lots of moisture will be lost during the drying process leading to an impact on the planet. Despite this wastage of water handmade seed paper is undoubtedly the most environmentally friendly method of manufacture.

FSC certified seed paper

Unlike handmade paper, FSC certified seed paper uses virgin trees to create pulp for the paper. It's worth noting that these are FSC certified logging practices but never the less it is arguably less sustainable than using 100% recycled paper.

Chopping down trees is a necessity in our modern age, ensuring your doing it in ethical, sustainable ways is a personal responsibility.

At UK Seed Paper we will never work with any manufacturers of wood pulp seed paper who cannot provide a genuine FCS certificate. This indicates clear conformity to responsible forest practices that allow timber to repair and regrow itself in between cuts.

Cotton seed paper

Some seed paper is produced using cotton fibres as opposed to the wood pulp or recycled paper. Our personal experience with cotton paper is the fibres within can hamper germination so it is a form of paper we avoid.

In terms of its environmental impact cotton seed paper is varied. Manufacturers can opt to use old clothes and materials which is a planet-friendly option but does require the sourcing of material.

Some producers are known to use virgin cotton in their plantable paper. Cotton production is not particularly environmentally friendly. Large swathes of wild areas and habitats are often cleared to make way for large commercial cotton fields.

The conclusion

Handmade seed paper using 100% recycled paper materials is without a doubt the most environmentally friendly method to produce plantable paper.

It's really important to note that we have been looking at the production process and its environmental impact. The seeds embedded within all these papers do have the opportunity to offset some of their environmental impacts simply by being planted and grown.

So if you're looking to stay environmentally friendly always opt for handmade seep paper but most importantly, make sure you plant it!

The Two Drifters Distillery was founded by Gemma and Russ Wakeham from Devon in 2019. Two Drifters is fully aware that the world's climate issues can only be reduced if businesses start to measure and be openly accountable for their actions, leading them on a drive towards a Carbon Negative Rum.

Two Drifters investigated different methods of Carbon Offsetting and found offsetting with an organisation called Climeworks to be the best fit for their business and brand. Climeworks achieves this by using a technology that directly captures carbon dioxide from the air, removing historic CO₂ emissions and improving the planet.

This drive has led Two Drifters on a path towards Carbon Negativity and beyond, leading them to investigate new and inventive ways of displaying their commitment to the environment and sustainability including plantable gift tags for their Rum bottles.

We looked at different plantable tags with Gemma at Two Drifters and decided on a simple bauble plantable tag that would sit perfectly on the bottle displaying their logo and allowing their customers to write a small personalised note for gifting and Christmas presents.

Gemma trialled the new seed paper tags at Dart's Farm, a well-established Farm shop based in the rolling hills surrounding Exeter and they were a massive hit with customers and passers-by.

Find out more about Two Drifters Distillery and their Carbon Negative Rum.

We love working with like-minded businesses and brands, when Revive a Bee asked us to help with their new packaging we couldn't have been happier.

Revive a Bee is a bee focused brand that creates and supplies bee revival products, tools and resources for its broad range of customers and supporters. By adopting plantable packaging they ensured every element of their well known Bee revival kits was helping bees.

We established some of the best wildflower seeds for bees and pollinators that would be suitable environments all across the globe and set about creating their custom sheets ready for printing and cutting. We added Daisy, Myosotis and Poppy to ensure a good spread of seed species and a beautiful display when the seedlings grow into mature wildflowers.

Revive a Bee opted for a beautiful watercolour of the Early Bumblebee on the front of their plantable packaging and we think the results speak for themselves:

Feedback from their customers was fantastic and they were an instant win with children and adults alike.

If you would like to introduce plantable packaging to your product range don't hesitate to get in touch with the team here at UK Seed Paper. Our dedicated account managers are plantable packaging experts and can help and advise you on the best paper, thickness, seeds, size and design for your new plantable packaging.

UK Seed Paper is a trading name of Isca Brands Limited
Company Number: 13119663 | VAT Number: 393472175
© 2020-2022 Isca Brands Limited or it's affiliates
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