Ask G

Ask G: Paper not made from trees

You can find a whole host of paper made without wood fibres

Am I able to buy paper not made from trees?

Skye, WA

Elephant's backside

You'd be surprised where some alternative papers come from!

Credit: iStockphoto

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Indeed you can!

The Environmental Paper Network State of the Paper Industry report estimates that about nine per cent of paper fibre comes from non-wood sources globally.

The main non-wood fibres are straw, sugarcane bagasse and bamboo.

Other fibre sources include cotton, reeds, sisal, hemp, jute, kenaf, flax and banana (using the stem and non-utilisable fruit).

The fibres that come from agricultural residues are promising, particularly in cases where they would otherwise be burnt off, contributing to air pollution.

But, for novelty value, you can't beat panda poo paper, made from the fibre-rich excrement of Giant Pandas living in captivity, or the kind that's made from elephant dung. But you might have trouble getting it through customs.