Major Bet Pays Off for Cascades and Canopy: New Book Printed on Straw-Based Paper

Special edition of In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination by Margaret Atwood, printed on Second Harvest Paper manufactured by Cascades

Through a unique partnership with Canopy, a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting the world’s forests, Cascades participated in a unique pilot project: the publication of a special edition of In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination, by renowned Canadian author Margaret Atwood, on Second Harvest Paper made from agricultural waste.


This revolutionary paper is manufactured from a mixture of recycled fibre and leftover straw recovered from cereal crops after the harvest. The Cascades Fine Papers Group produced these remarkable sheets at our Rolland plant, at Saint-Jerome,Québec,Canada. The quality of the finished product is so exceptional that it’s very difficult to distinguish from “normal” paper. Since that was our goal, this is great news!


Our work began when Canopy, who was in charge of the project, turned to us for assistance thanks to our longstanding relationship. From the outset, we shared the same goal of making our products more environmentally friendly. With this special edition of the Margaret Atwood book, we wanted to demonstrate the viability of Second Harvest Paper as an alternative to traditional paper. Second Harvest offers a great way to diversify the sources of North American fibre used to make paper and reduce pressure on forests, while recycling waste products from another industry.


“There is enough leftover straw in North Americato keep up to 800 million trees standing every year and Canopy has already identified customer demand to keep four pulp mills running full time,” says Nicole Rycroft, Executive Director of Canopy. “Shifting paper production from our endangered forests to our fields would yield a new resource sector with benefits to farming communities, our economy, and forest ecosystems around the world.”


Cascades has been manufacturing Rolland Enviro100 paper for several years, and our desire to innovate has led us to ask “where do you go after 100% recycled?” This project has provided an answer.


The crucial next step between the pilot project and the marketing of this product is to establish an infrastructure inNorth Americato convert straw into pulp suitable for paper production. A project of this magnitude will require the participation of several partners.


This initiative is an example of a successful partnership that advances the state of the art and sets the stage for projects that once seemed unfeasible. With teamwork and courage, nothing is impossible!


Can you envision any solutions to challenges ahead? What do you think about this pilot project? We’d love to hear from you!

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About the Author
Julie Loyer

Julie specializes in sustainable development and communication. She is interested in all facets of sustainability, more specifically issues related to the environment and corporate accountability. Her passion led her to get involved with the Book Industry Environmental Council (BIEC) for several years where she chaired the Carbon Committee for two years. Julie holds a Short Master’s Degree in Corporate Social Responsibility and a Bachelor of Public Communication from the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). “As a company, Cascades is responsible and committed to sustainable development. They have values that I share. For me, being a “Cascadeur” is about bringing what’s best about yourself to our dynamic teams so we can accomplish great things.”

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1 comment
  1. Estefana Eary at 12:52 pm

    I really like it when individuals get together and share ideas. Great website, continue the good work!