Instead of using wood to make paper, NewspaperWood upcycles newspapers to make an innovative wood-like material.
NewspaperWood products are created by Dutch design group Vij5. The concept originated from Mieke Meijer’s project at the Design Academy Eindhoven, who decided it was time to create something useful from old newspapers that no one wanted.
Once wood is turned into paper, it can continue to be recycled, but will always remain in paper form. Meijer explains, “I thought it would be nice to turn the process around and turn paper into wood again. With a roller I glued the paper and rolled it as tightly as possible. Every day I spent two hours gluing the newspaper until the first paper “tree log” originated.”
When a NewspaperWood log is cut, the layers of paper appear like lines of a wood grain or the rings of a tree. The material is dense enough that it can be cut, milled, sanded and treated like any other type of wood.
Vij5 knows and acknowledges that NewspaperWood cannot logistically serve as a large scale alternative to wood. The goal of the project is to upcycle and change a surplus of discarded material into something more valuable. Vij5 has transformed newspaper into a more robust, versatile building material that can be use for countless applications.
Nowadays printing techniques for newspapers are very efficient and keep scrap material to a minimum. However, yesterday’s newspapers are always available, which is what makes them a great source of local material.
Vij5 uses water based glue that is free of solvents and plasticizers to layer the newspapers. Their decision to use an eco-friendly glue makes NewspaperWood 100% recyclable. So, should one of their products become damaged or unusable, consumers can discard them with the rest of their recycling.
Below is a cabinet designed by Vij5 and made from NewspaperWood that was exhibited last April at part of Salone de Mobile, or international design week, in Milan. Want to see more? Visit Vij5’s website.