Woody Harrelson’s new paper brand aims to combat deforestation.
Actor Woody Harrelson – known for his long time role on Cheers, and more recently for portraying Haymitch Abernathy in The Hunger Games, – wants the world to know there’s a better way of manufacturing paper… and it has very little to do with cutting down trees.
Harrelson is co-founder and investor in Manitoba’s Prairie Pulp and Paper Inc., a company which is developing a new form of paper – called Step Forward Paper – made from 80% wheat-straw waste and 20% Forest Stewardship Council certified wood fiber. This is the start of the 51-year-old actor’s campaign to launch North America’s first non-wood pulp-and-paper mill.
The two-time Academy Award nominee tells The Canadian Press he’d “like to see a revolution in the paper industry” and that building the plant will be “an important part of that process”.
“When we build a plant here in Manitoba, it’s going to be 100-per-cent wood free… really from agricultural waste,” he adds.
The Zombieland star has been a passionate environmentalist throughout his life and feels he has a calling to protect our forests and trees.
“Ever since I was pulled into the environmental world, protecting trees and stopping deforestation has really been a calling for me,” he tells Time Magazine, adding that the supply and demand nature of the paper industry is exactly what needs to change before a positive effect can take place.
“The thing to do is change the supply,” he continues. “We need to change the way that paper is made.”
At this time, Step Forward Paper is made at a mill in India and is available at Staples stores in the United States. The goal for the company is to eventually open a mill in North America.
According to Jeff Golfman, the president of Prairie Pulp and Paper, for every two boxes of Harrelson’s wheat based paper used to replace conventionally made copy paper, one tree will be saved.
He believes capturing a niche market will be the key to Step Forward Paper’s success. Acknowledging that the change will happen slowly at first, Golfman believes that the product’s popularity “could really crescendo”.
Worried about job loss in the industry? Harrelson, a devoted vegan, says he hopes “people don’t lose their jobs or can transition into other jobs”.
“I’d like to see it get to the point where we never use trees to make paper because to me it’s just a barbaric way to make it. It’d be nice to just stop using the forest.”
“To me, we’ve taxed the forest enough,” he concludes.
Will you be picking up a pack of Woody Harrelson’s new paper? Do you think this is an idea that will catch on?