First mentioned back in 2010, Woody Harrelson is back talking all about wheat-based paper – and the tremendous advantages it offers over its traditional tree-sourced counterpart.
The actor and environmental activist recently spoke to the Canadian Press, throwing his support (and money) behind Prairie Pulp and Paper Inc. and promoting plans to create North America’s first non-wood pulp-and-paper mill.
“When we build a plant there in Manitoba, it’s going to be 100-per-cent wood free. . . really from agricultural waste,” said Harrelson, a co-founder of the new company. “I’d like to see a revolution in the paper industry and I think this is an important part of that process.”
The company’s first product, Step Forward Paper, is created using 80 per cent waste wheat straw and 20 per cent wood fibres. It’s currently available in more than 330 Staples stores across Canada and was found to have the least amount of environmental impact among North American copy papers, including 100% recycled paper.
“I’d like to see it get to the point where we never use trees to make paper because to me it’s just a barbaric way to make it,” Harrelson told the paper. “It’d be nice to just stop using the forest. I hope people don’t lose their jobs or can transition into other jobs, but to me, we’ve taxed the forest enough.”
According to the Canadian forests protection group Canopy, 90 per cent of logging in Canada occurs in old growth forests and roughly 50 per cent of what’s cut goes into paper production. Needless to say, they’re a big backer of Prairie Pulp and Paper.
“To me this is a big one,” Harrelson told the Toronto Star. “This one has been a long-term dream and I’m excited about where it’s at right now.”
If things go according to plan, the organization will construct a $500 million large scale commercial tree-free paper mill in Manitoba (most likely south of Canada’s Assiniboine River), which will reduce carbon emissions normally produced in that area due to wheat straw burning and create jobs as well as an estimated 200,000 tons of repurposed crop waste ‘paper’ every year.
Check out video of Woody talking about the company below.