PaperStone

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PaperStone is a Certified (FSC, Smartwood, Rainforest Alliance) post-consumer, recycled paper architectural surface material made with 100% petroleum-free, phenolic resins. Water is the predominant solvent.[1] It is primarily used in applications for level surfaces, including table tops, counters, window sills and door thresholds.

The recycled variety is its principal form and comes in two series or standards: "original," made from 50% post consumer water and recycled paper; and "certified", 100% post consumer waste. PaperStone is also available in lighter colours made from non recycled fibres known as the "virgin" series that is still FSC certified.[2]

Sustainability[edit]

The PaperStone product is recognized for a number of features desirable in green building applications. This is demonstrated by its eligibility for LEED credits.[3] In particular, the recycled content, renewable sources of materials, and lack of residual VOCs are recognized by LEED as advantageous. Additionally, builders within the USA benefit from the material being sourced domestically, as opposed to competing stone products that are often imported and have a high embedded energy cost from being transported overseas.

One possible disadvantage of the product, from a sustainability standpoint, is the inability to recycle it when it is slated for disposal. This aspect is part of its "cradle to grave" lifecycle. It is unclear how biodegradeable the material is, but the high wood fiber content and organically-derived resins may allow greater breakdown over time than some competing countertop materials. A related consideration is its durability and maintainability compared to other countertops, since this affects its total lifespan; some kitchen surfaces can be polished easily to repair minor damage and therefore delay the eventual need for replacement.

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