Thursday, March 29, 2012

CPL grass paper plant in full swing


THE City Pharmacy Group’s paper-making project at Gerehu Stage 6, Port Moresby, is progressing well since its launching last November, The National reports.
The paper-making technology, which uses kunai grass and banana stems, is a not-for-profit initiative designed to help improve livelihoods in the rural communities.

CPL Group of of Companies employee Bona Aluafo shows a sheet of paper that is made from kunai grass and banana pulp at Gerehu Stage 6, Port Moresby. The paper is already used for wrapping at Stop N Shop shops in the city.-Nationalpics by MALUM NALU
CPL is currently in the process of selecting villages to get involved in this project with focus on more women involvement.
The project was established last September with the assistance of a Nepalese non-government organisation, Asia Network for Sustainable Agriculture and Bioresources.
A group of residents at Gerehu stage 6 had been trained to make paper using kunai grass,
Since then, the project has also been turning banana stems into paper.
The technology is very simple, with the kunai and banana stems chopped up, boiled, put in a beating machine where it is pounded into mash, poured into a frame, and then placed in the sun to dry out as an A2-sized piece of paper, which could be bleached or kept in its natural colour texture.
Gerehu resident Bona Paike recalled that last year, the community was informed by CPL about a man from Nepal who would teach them about making paper from kunai.
“The man asked us if we wanted to learn about making paper and we volunteered,” he said.
“There were seven of us who started off, with only five of us staying for the training.
“I’m very much enjoying this.
“We have so much kunai and bananas and we have to make use of it.”
CPL marketing manager Prue Go said the locally-produced paper had been put on sale at City Pharmacy and Stop N Shop stores since December.
The shops also used them for wrapping.
“We started selling it at City Pharmacy and Stop N Shop stores, especially during the holidays,” she said.
“People have really embraced the product as their own … they are really amazed when they found out that this is locally-made paper.”
Go said the vision of CPL chairman Mahesh Patel was for the company to take the technology out to the villages and teach the people how to make paper, which would then be sold at CPL stores and they keep the proceeds from the sales.
“We will be introducing this to some villages and communities, starting with Port Moresby,” she said.
“CPL is also very much into women enhancement programmes and this is something we would like to teach women.”

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