Stone Paper 101: Top Myths Busted

It took traditional paper hundreds of years to become common. We don't have time to wait for the same.

What is stone paper?

Karst notebooks and planners may present in a familiar form, but they all offer something unique and innovative under the hood. Our products are made from sustainably recycled stone, and without any bleaches or acids. Karst Stone Paper™ is rebuilt from first principles to be better than wood-pulp paper: more durable, more sustainable, and infinitely smoother to write, scribble, doodle or draw on.

Our stone paper is made by mixing calcium carbonate powder with a high quality, non-toxic resin. Heat and pressure are applied, and after many rotations through some extremely large and heavy rollers, the material is thin enough to be used as paper.

"Not All Stone Paper Is Created Equal"

Stone Paper is not a regulated term - anyone making paper with the use of calcium carbonate or another mineral can call it stone paper. However, depending on who is manufacturing it, the quality and sourcing of ingredients varies significantly. In a nutshell, not all stone paper is created equal.

Our Karst products use the highest quality stone paper possible, with concentrations of Calcium Concentrate around 80-90% per batch.

Our stone paper is C2C Silver Certified, to ensure an independent body is regulating our paper-making process. "Cradle to Cradle Certified™" is a globally recognized measure of safer, more sustainable products made for the circular economy. And while anyone can make paper-like material out of mineral material, only those who uphold the highest standards of environmental responsibility can achieve a C2C Certification.

As a guideline, look out for stone paper with B Corp and C2C Certifications. Although there may be exceptions, this is a good guideline for making sure you're using truly sustainable stone paper.

I heard stone paper is coated with plastic. Is that true?

Nope! As is normal with new technologies, there is a bit of a learning curve when it comes to Stone Paper. A few resources online state that stone paper is coated in plastic, or likens the materials to wax-lined beverage cups.

While we can't speak for other companies, we can assure you that Karst's paper is not coated in plastic or wax of any kind. While we do use non-virgin HDPE resin in production, it is found in such small amounts (10-20%) that it leaves no traces of microplastics - HDPE resin oxidizes and is left with no traces. When Karst Stone Paper fully degrades, there are no microplastics as the resin oxidises into 1.4ppm of Nitrous Oxide and 65ppm of CO, leaving only calcium carbonate behind. Recent research has concluded there are no halogens present.

And while the sensation of writing on stone paper is different from traditional paper, it's nothing at all like writing on a plastic bag. There's still a bit of grit and grab to the paper, but it's smoother than traditional paper (due to the lack of grain). The result is a satisfying, velvety sensation when writing and nothing at all like the slippery icky feeling of writing on plastic.

Is stone paper recyclable?

What's so unique and special about Karst Stone Paper is that there are a few different ways you can dispose of it (without ending up in landfill). Our paper can be recycled with type 2 plastics. Once heated, the calcium carbonate remains and is used as filler in new products.

​Since stone isn't a biological material, it's technically not "biodegradable", however it is photodegradable. Because the paper disintegrates once heated, you can also safely dispose of our products in commercial compost. It degrades much like an eggshell in compost (also calcium carbonate!).

We do have an end of life recycling program as well for folks without access to recycling or compost facilities. While it's not ideal, as you'll have to mail back your product once it's finished being used, this is an option we've made available for now to our Australian customers and we're working toward making this available globally. To learn more, email us at hello@karststonepaper.com

03.04.21