UBC Undergraduate Research

An investigation into wheat straw paper Tang, Jamie; Kim, Jisun Jessica; Chow, Andrew


Wheat paper made from discarded wheat straw has become a viable option and alternative that rivals 30% PCW paper in today’s society that is focused on sustainability. In an attempt to improve the sustainability of UBC, wheat paper is to be considered. This report will focus on the triple bottom line assessment of wheat paper to determine if it is acceptable to be used at UBC instead of the standard 30% PCW paper. Three aspects of wheat paper will be reviewed. These include the environmental, economic and social impacts that are associated with how beneficial or consequential wheat paper is compared to 30% PCW paper. Environmental aspects include the amount of energy required to produce the paper, the materials required and the overall life cycle. In terms of economic factors we analysed the costs and its benefits and consequences. Lastly, we examined the social aspects which included labour and benefits and consequences wheat paper can have on society. When performing the analysis many ideas brought up by Minto Roy from Royal Printers in an interview have been taken into account and a transcript is available in the Appendices. It is also assumed that the facilities in India where the wheat paper is made meet all requirements of UBC’s Supplier Code of Conduct. This report ultimately finds that wheat paper is a compelling option for UBC to choose from compared to 30% PCW paper because wheat paper production emits less CO₂ emissions, reduces the amount of trees used in paper compared to 30% PCW by 7 times, may reduce consumer prices on grain products if demand increases, and is available at the same price point. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

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