My jewellery is made from paper, silver and resin. I've pledged to look at all of those elements in turn to see if I can do anything to make them more eco friendly. This week I'm looking at the environmental impact of the paper element.
First I need to explain how I use paper in my pieces. To start with, I print my designs onto thick card and then cut the card into lots and lots of circles (I'm currently obsessed with circles!). I then layer the circles and laminate them together to form a thick lozenge.
The centre of the lozenge is made from different card as it doesn't need to have the pattern on it. I currently use thick black card for most of my 'inners' as I like the look this gives. Some recent products (see above and here) have used black and white card together to create stripes. I aim to play with this idea more in the future, adding colour too.
Some of the paper I use is recycled and some is not. Of the non-recycled I don't know if it is FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified. There is no information on the site of the seller, and they have not replied to my questions.
The problem is that I use specific thicknesses of card, which so far, I have not found in recycled versions. To make pieces with other thicknesses will require a redesign of my jewellery. And that is something I pledge to do. Once I've used up current stock I will move to using all recycled paper.
However, can we automatically assume that recycled paper is better than virgin paper? As is noted in this Guardian article 'If the paper was recovered using energy generated from coal, it might as well not be recycled' On the other hand, both this paper and this site give clear evidence that the manufacture of recycled paper uses considerably less energy.
It looks like a no brainer actually. I'm currently sourcing recycled paper and over time will make the necessary design changes so that all my paper is recycled.