Favini Alga Carta
after Italian paper company Favini donated the paper to the charity. The creation of Shiro Alga Carta dates back to the early 90s, when the Venetian Lagoon was clogged by algal bloom. Algae have always been present in the Venice lagoon but in combination with manmade nutrients and warm water at the end of the summer, they started to develop in an abnormal way, making the ecosystem unstable.
In 1989, the Magistrato alle Acque of the Venice Council, the governmental body in charge of the problem, together with the Consorzio Venezia Nuova started to remove the algae to prevent the de-oxygenation of the Venice lagoon.
The algae is difficult to dispose of and the Magistrato alle Acque looked at different options for using it in other ways. One of these, co-sponsored by the European Union involved LIFE project, was to process it so that it could be added to paper. In 1993, this led to the first sample of paper called ‘Alga Carta’.
Favini developed a new and innovative manufacturing process for the introduction of algae into paper. The raw algae are first dried and then milled in the paper mill to obtain seaweed ‘flour’. The flour is then combined with FSC fibres to make a high quality environmentally friendly paper. The outcome is a speckled paper where the speckles are the milled algae – interestingly, over time, the paper becomes whiter due to the chlorophyll in the algae. Typically 5% to 10% of algae is used, but up to 30% is possible.
The manufacturing process of Shiro Alga Carta is patented by Favini.
For more about Favini click here