Dubai, UAE: A Thai company is taking a lead role in eco-friendly paper manufacturing, producing 600,000 tons of pulp and one million tons of paper annually that not only protects natural resources, but provides additional income for more than one million Thai farmers in the process.
Thailand’s Double A believes that sustainability and paper go hand in hand, and has based its business model on producing a special strain of paper tree on the thousands of otherwise unused hectares of ‘KHAN-NA’ lands that border the South East Asian country’s numerous rice paddies.
Since its inception in 1991, Double A knew that to be successful, it must co-exist with the environment, but according to Senior Executive Vice President Thirawit Leetavorn, the key was sourcing the right raw material, while also preserving Thailand’s rich natural biodiversity and supporting surrounding local communities.
“For more than 25 years, we tested some 2,500 trees to find the right tree most suited to Thailand’s climate and that also produces the highest quality wood pulp,” said Mr. Leetavorn.
“The result is our propriety Double A Paper-Tree which yields a large quantity of trees every 3-5 years and requires little maintenance. Each sheet of Double A paper is made from this tree which is cultivated on vacant KHAN-NA strips of land along farmers’ rice paddies.
Mr. Leetavorn added: “We’ve maintained its premium quality paper products and recently extended our product range wider with Office supplies and Stationery products under the reliable Double A brand, keeping the utmost quality commitment to serve our customers.”
Double A will showcase its green credentials and entire range of sustainable paper and stationery products at the Paperworld Middle East exhibition, which takes place from 27 February – 1 March at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.
The company is one of dozens of global paper manufacturers at the region’s largest trade fair for paper, office supplies, and stationery products, which will feature more than 300 exhibitors from 42 countries when it opens for business in its 8th edition next week.
Mr. Leetavorn said with each ream of Double A paper produced, re-cultivation of raw material is done to ensure the availability of sustainable fibre in the future.
“Our concept of producing paper from KHAN-NA farmed trees originated from innovation of sustainable sourcing, co-existing with rice paddies in the Thai context. We soon realised that 43 per cent, or 22 million hectares, of Thailand is agricultural land, but not everything is utilised, such as the KHAN-NA space between the rice paddies,” he added.
“Double A Paper from the KHAN-NA model provides us with a sustainable source of raw materials, while protecting natural forests and providing substantial additional income for more than one million Thai farming families. This model ensures we’re not taking land away from food production, and enables us to use natural resources sustainably.”
Double A Paper from the KHAN-NA model is recognised by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), while Mr. Leetavorn said the manufacturer also converts all its waste from the pulping process, oversized wood chips and tree barks into biomass fuel.
This ensures a self-sufficient manufacturing process which produces electricity for the local power plant, and in turn fuels the mill and supplies energy to support 400,000 people in communities around the mill.
The company has stringent water consumption practices as well: “Our 35 million cubic meter reservoir, Emerald Lake, collects rainfall and conserves water during rainy seasons,” added Mr. Leetavorn.
“This water is used for our mills and trees as well as local communities and factories. Additionally, we squeeze excess water out of the paper pulp during the manufacturing process to be recycled. We also use a special dry process for making wood chip and we leverage technology to minimise water consumption.”
Other leading specialised paper manufacturers at Paperworld Middle East 2018 include The Navigator Company from Portugal, NGR from the UAE, Modern Union Paper Products from Bahrain, and French-based Beaumont Group.
The three-day event is organised by Messe Frankfurt Middle East, and arrives in 2018 with new features such as the Green Room, a dedicated section for environmentally friendly products with ‘eco-credentials; Playworld Village, spanning the entire gamut of children’s toys and games; and Corporate Gifts for promotional items. A two-day seminar programme will also highlight the latest trends and developments in the regional office, paper, and stationery industries.
Returning features include wrap Star, the region's only gift wrapping competition. Paperworld Middle East is co-located with Leatherworld Middle East, the region’s premier showcase of leather goods, accessories and supplies. More information is available at: www.paperworldme.com