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Paperscape is a small batch paper mill located on the Kāpiti Coast in Aotearoa / New Zealand.
We specialise in turning native plants into bespoke pulp and paper products. Enhancing our native biodiversity, making use of waste, and sharing our craft are the key principles that underpin our business.

"Papermaking brings together my love of science, nature and making things."

Paperscape founder Rob Kennedy

Raw Materials

Our main raw material is harakeke (flax), and we are expanding the use of other native plants such as tī kōuka (cabbage tree), raupō (bulrush) and Carex grasses. When harvesting fresh plant material, we take a "care through use" approach, where leaves are cut in a way that maintains and enhances the healthy growth of the plant or plant community.  We lean heavily on traditional Māori knowledge which we supplement with careful observation and experience.

Besides material that we harvest, we also love using leftovers from others, including:

  • Off-cuts from harakeke weavers. We can make use of both green whenu leftovers and any dry, dyed material. 

  • Plant material from landscaping activities that would otherwise be bound for green waste disposal or landfill, including non-native fibre plants like bamboo and various palms.

  • Cotton and linen rags, which can be a source of colour in the paper. We often blend these with other fibres, producing a wide range of papers suited to different applications.

  • Plant processing industry wastes such as grape marc, coffee husks, and hemp hurds. We love experimenting with these types of wastes to turn them into paper creations.

Being a small batch processor gives us considerable scope to experiment and we are keen to build further partnerships with users and processors of fibrous plant materials in our region. So if you think you have a resource we can use, please get in touch!

Papermaking Process

In addition to plant materials, paper making requires inputs of water, energy and chemicals. Efficient use of these resources and responsible waste management are the key principles that guide our production process. Here are some of the things we do:

  • Retting is a traditional method of preparing plant material for pulping by leaving it submerged in water for extended time periods. Natural biological processes begin breaking down the plant's structure and releasing the fibre, so we can reduce the amount of chemicals and energy used in the next processing step.

  • Black liqour is the residue of pulping plant material. We reprocess this residue, before feeding it into our experimental anaerobic digester to produce biogas which we can use to power some of our processes.

  • Water cascading dramatically reduces our water use and discharge. Water from papermaking can be used again for mechanical pulping and then pulp washing - making multiple uses through the different processing steps. Finally, the used water, including from the retting stage, is nutrient rich and used for garden irrigation.

Ultimately there are no ‘wastes’ just thoroughly well-used resources that are matched to a productive application.

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