Ukrainian fall leads to Europe’s victory

Relief Paper is a Ukrainian start-up created by Valentin Frechka when he was 16 for a school project that produces paper from fallen leaves from Ukrainian cities, avoiding cutting down trees and using less energy, less water and less emissions. Less CO2.

Relief Paper is a Ukrainian start-up created by Valentin Frechka when he was 16 for a school project that produces paper from fallen leaves from Ukrainian cities, avoiding cutting down trees and using less energy, less water and less emissions. Less CO2. They are at the web summit to offer created and organic products Networking What happens in these types of events.

“I was working on a student project for the Olympics and school competitions, and I was looking for alternatives to wood pulp because I lived near forests,” he explains. New Hanna Kuznetsova. “He saw trees being cut down and didn’t like it. So, he tried many alternatives – straw, bamboo – but it wasn’t a unique technology at the time.

So he had his eureka moment when he saw leaves lying on the ground: they were part of trees, they contained cellulose, and paper could be made from them.

“It was the right idea, the right concept. Three years later, Alexander [Sobolenko] Together with him created the startup”, highlights Kuznetsova.

The idea of ​​relief paper is to recycle fallen leaves to make paper. The leaves are not collected in the wild, but collected by the municipalities, which deliver them to the company. Paper production is done through a combination of chemicals, thermomechanical processes, which are completely sustainable because the materials used are not hazardous or concentrated.

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The environmental impact is also significant. In addition to not cutting down trees to make paper, Relief Paper uses three times less energy and 15 times less water. During the process, 78% less CO2 emissions are produced compared to traditional paper production.

Relief paper

Also, we save 17 trees for every ton of paper. Our ambition is to achieve 5% of the paper industry in 50 years. It is a long process and requires many similar production units in different cities to achieve it. “It’s not an optimistic percentage, because the optimism would be 10%,” Kuznetsova points out. “Every year about three million hectares of forest are cut down to make paper. So if it’s 5%, the impact is huge. It’s just a start.”

To achieve this objective, the launch paper has received support from the European Commission, with 2.5 million euros awarded earlier this year, with another eight million committed to setting up a second and third production line outside Ukraine. , after a first project in France.

Paper made from relief paper can be used in a variety of applications: bags, wrapping paper, corrugated cardboard boxes, egg cartons. Since October last year, relief paper products have been sold throughout Europe, after the first phase they were sold only in Ukraine. At that time, although they were a small Ukrainian project, their main clients were Samsung or L’Óreal.

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