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Instead of trees, this startup is making paper out of stone

Yamasaki says what he is doing is the answer to concerns over water shortages and deforestation. He added that the global demand for paper is expected to double by 2030. The entrepreneur said he wanted to end his life as a businessman by creating a company that will last for centuries.

According to Yamasaki, the material his company uses will play a role in many places as the world faces population growth. His company says that in order to make a lot of the regular paper, more than 90 tons of water is required, but its LImex paper doesn’t use water. Instead of using 20 trees to make paper, the company uses less than a ton of limestone, as well as less than 200 kilograms of polyolefin.

Yamasaki’s goal is to transform his venture into an enterprise that generates over $11.1 billion in revenue through the mid-2030s. He plans to operate a hundred or more plants around the world in regions that are rich with limestone and regions that are water-poor, such as California and Morocco.

Yasuhiro Makada, an analyst at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities, spoke with a newspaper and said paper is cheap and difficult to sell. Makada continued to say that making paper from wood chips involves plating trees and it can be carbon neutral. He added that he wasn’t sure how much appeal this would have, at least from an environmental perspective.

As for Yamasaki, the next step he will take is to operate a plant in Japan with an annual 30,000-ton capacity by the year 2020.

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