As the first in the world, the manufacture in Zhitomir, Ukraine, made the first batch of paper from fallen leaves, according to a talented student Valentin Frechko. The resulting recyclable product is used to produce environmentally friendly packaging and products.

In the beginning, the first experiments took place at Valentino’s home. Two years have passed since the invention to the first industrial batch.

The factory in Zhitomir produces egg packaging, straws, cups, lids and craft paper. Paper from fallen leaves can be used to make bags, plates, wrapping paper, decorative paper, and many other products that are currently made of plastic.

Eco-friendly Production Process

First, the crushed and peeled leaves are boiled in huge containers, the resulting mass moving along the conveyor while gradually losing moisture. Thereafter, the mass is stretched and becomes smooth paper or transformed into the final shapes.

Fallen leaves and wastepaper are used in a 50 to 50 ratio. The paper can be recycled after use. During production, the raw material is only heated to 40 degrees, so that no pollutants are released into the air.

Worldwide Awards

Young pioneer got Grand Prix award at the International Ecological Olympiad in Kenya. The project has already been presented at conferences and competitions in other countries such as the USA, France, Serbia, Slovakia, Poland, Germany, Korea, and China. At the New York Genius Competition in 2018, he won a gold medal for his project “Recycle of Fallen Leaves”.

“Ukraine has a strong potential to apply technology for the production of paper from leaves, especially from the western and northern parts. During the autumn period, by collecting all the fallen leaves in the big cities of Ukraine, production can be expanded for a year, using this technology as a complement to conventional production and replacing wood pulp with hardwood. In general, in order to improve the environment, we must first switch to energy-efficient and innovative production technologies that involve full recycling and recovery of waste,” Valentin said in an interview with Womo while he was still a schoolboy.

Ukraine is ninth in the ranking of countries with the highest amount of waste per capita. The level of waste recycling in the country is very low, only 3.2%.

Valentin argues that by producing paper using his technology, deforestation can be reduced by 18% worldwide in just one year by processing at least 600 kg of leaves per day.

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