Sunday, June 21, 2009

Creative recycling: THEY are making a book from waste paper in the Netherlands

How you can make products out of waste? how you can recycle creatively? we usually look for innovative companies like
TerraCycle to learn how to do it, but today we go all way to the Netherlands to see how you do it with books!

We're talking about a book designed by THEY, a communications agency of the Netherlands, for one of their customers - Lingotto, a project developer in Amsterdam that, amongst other projects, redefines old buildings and gives them a new purpose.

The inside of the book is entirely printed on paper that’s been used for test prints. They explain that on average with every printing run 1 to 2 percent of the paper gets used for testing. So printing 100.000 sheets leaves 2000 sheets of waste paper.

THEY collected different types of test paper and printed 500 books on the backside of the test pages. THEY used Japanese stab binding, by which you leave the old, ‘wrong’ side on the inside and the ‘right’ side, the side you want to read, on the outside.

The cover of the book is made of misprinted packaging for juice and milk. By using different packages and printing in small numbers, the covers are all unique.

For the principle of redefining things like THEY do in this book, THEY invented a new word, made out of existing words, calling it: Restructive.

I haven't seen the book but from the pictures it looks fabulous, and the idea is definitely great. I know it's not a solution for every book printed on paper, especially as my guestimation is that the cost involved is relatively higher than the cost you have for regular printing, BUT this is definitely an example of the creativity and way of thinking we need to see in order to make printing greener and reading more sustainable.

You can read more on THEY at their website -

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: promoting green printing