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R&D efforts highlight ‘green’ notebooks, pads

More makers use wood-free and recycled paper as initiatives to conserve natural resources grow.

Suppliers of notebooks and pads in mainland China are underscoring environmental protection in their material choices. For pages, recycled paper continues to be the dominant option. Most companies prefer inputs from Japan and Taiwan as these contain 70 to 100 percent reused pulp, and boast greater smoothness and brightness than virgin wood pulp versions. Utilizing imported materials, however, raises prices by 5 and 20 percent.

Bamboo-covered notebook

Today offers this bamboo-covered notebook with recycled paper sheets.

Some manufacturers also employ domestic variants for less expensive releases. These alternatives have 40 to 70 percent recycled contents.

Wood-free paper is another popular choice among makers. Derived from cotton, bamboo, sugarcane and reed fibers, the material helps preserve forest resources as it does not require wood pulp from trees.

Models adopting the input feature better recyclability than pure wood pulp pieces.

Stone paper, which boasts superior water-resistant and biodegradable properties, is likewise receiving increased attention.

It costs less to use than wood pulp because production does not necessitate water and bleaching agents, and entails lower power consumption.

Unlike wood pulp releases, however, many companies have no fixed manufacturing lines for these items, fabricating only on request. As a result, suppliers often charge premiums for orders, which push up prices.

Today International Group Co. Ltd offers designs with PLA and bamboo covers.

As regards prints, the use of soy ink is gaining ground. Made of slightly refined soy bean oil mixed with pigment, resin and wax, the material has low VOC levels, thereby helping reduce air pollution through minimized toxic emissions.

Despite the generally higher prices of environment-friendly notebooks and pads, China manufacturers of the line are receiving increased orders. Zhejiang Guangbo Group Co. Ltd’s sales, for instance, went up by 20 percent from last year.

Today’s revenue from recycled paper models egistered 50 percent growth last year from 2009 figures. The Zhejiang province-based supplier expects another 50 percent gain by year-end.

Seeing the profitability of eco-friendly notebooks and pads, enterprises are bolstering the output of such models. To this end, a number of suppliers have launched ecologically safe pieces as a separate line.

Ningbo Jiangbei Suntos Imp. & Exp. Co. Ltd, for example, markets designs under the Go Green brand.

Zhejiang Guangbo started employing wood-free paper for stationery products in 2007. The maker now employs the input for 70 percent of its releases.

“Green” notebooks and pads are typically exported to the US, the EU and Japan.

Product gallery

PU leather-covered notebooks

The leaves of these PU leather-covered notebooks from Ever Shining use 100gsm wood-free materials.

Product overview

The majority of China-made notebooks and pads utilize 60 to 100gsm paper. Printed and plain designs are available. The number of pages for notebooks ranges from 10 to 130, with models containing 80 to 100 sheets mainstream. Pads often have dozens to hundreds of leaves.

Covers for the former category come in an assortment of materials. For soft versions, the popular choices are paper, plastic and a mixture of both. The first type consists of art, kraft, wood-free and specialty paper, white paperboard and duplex cardboard with a density of 100 to 400gsm. Plastic options include PP, PVC and PLA. Hard covers, meanwhile, are reinforced with 1,000 to 1,250gsm grayboard backing that is 1 to 2.5mm thick.

Ever Shining Stationery Co. Ltd offers PU and PVC leather items. To create colorful designs, the Taiwan-invested manufacturer augmented its facilities with advanced printing equipment.

Resultantly, the supplier can yield models that boast patterns with watercolor, photo, and ink- and wash-painted effects.

In addition, the company procured an embossing machine that can be used for both A3 and A4 products. Counterparts from other enterprises often handle the latter pieces exclusively.

Versions that use genuine leather are also available from Ever Shining. Prices start at $4 and can exceed $30.

Featuring intricate handcarved motifs, some upscale releases go for $90 to $100.

Unlike notebooks, only a handful of pads have covers. These are often made of paper and plastic. Most products are die-cut and are offered in an array of unconventional shapes, including fruit, animal, star and heart.

PU leather-covered notebook

Product gallery

Ever Shining Stationery Co. Ltd

Model: Color Print PU
MOQ: 100 pieces
Delivery: 13 days
Description: PU leather cover, 100gsm wood-free paper inner pages with 2-color printing; 96 sheets; 25K

PU leather-covered notebook

Ever Shining Stationery Co. Ltd

Model: Color Changed Embossing Spine PU
MOQ: 100 pieces
Delivery: 13 days
Description: PU leather cover, 100gsm wood-free paper inner pages with 2-color printing; color-changing embossed patterns in spine; 96 sheets; 25K

CMYK-printed cardboard covered notebook

Ningbo Johnshen Stationery Co. Ltd

Model: ID11008
MOQ: 5,000 pieces
Delivery: 45 days
Description: CMYK-printed cardboard cover; die-cut handle; double-O ring binding; 20.5x21cm

CMYK-printed cardboard covered notebook

Ningbo Johnshen Stationery Co. Ltd

Model: ID11009
MOQ: 5,000 pieces
Delivery: 45 days
Description: CMYK-printed cardboard cover; die-cut leaf-shaped patterns; pen and pen holder; 16.5x21cm

2-piece set of A5 and small notebooks

Today International Group Co. Ltd

Model: TRB001-P
MOQ: 5,000 pieces
Delivery: 30 days
Description: 2-piece set consists of A5 and small notebooks; PLA covers with die-cut holes; 70gsm recycled paper inner pages with 70% reused pulp; 70 sheets each

Bamboo covered ntoebook

Today International Group Co. Ltd

Model: TRP070
MOQ: 5,000 pieces
Delivery: 30 days
Description: Bamboo cover with die-cut pattern; green lead page, 70gsm recycled paper inner pages with 70% reused pulp; 70 sheets

Note: This article "R&D efforts highlight ‘green’ notebooks, pads" was originally published by Global Sources, a leading business-to-business media company and a primary facilitator of trade with China manufacturers and India suppliers, providing essential sourcing information to volume buyers through our e-magazines, trade shows and industry research.

All price quotes in this report are in US dollars unless otherwise specified. FOB prices were provided by the companies interviewed only as reference prices at the time of interview and may have changed.

Disclaimer: All product images are provided by the companies interviewed and are for reference purposes only. Those product images featuring products with trademarks, brand names or logos are not intended for sale. We, our affiliates, and our affiliates' respective directors, officers, employees, representatives, agents or contractors, do not accept and will not have any responsibility or liability for product images (or any part thereof) which infringe on any intellectual property or other rights of a third party.

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