Paper from Columbian coffee bags

December 2022. One week research on fibers of used coffeebags from Colombia in PapierLab Rotterdam by Rosanna Escobar and Zoa Rosenkranz from Secondary Raw in Berlin.

One week of research in PapierLab with Rosanna and Zoa on their discarded Colombian coffee bags. Can we make paper out of those fibers? If the answer is; ‘Yes, we can’. What are the characteristics of this paper? The duo working under the name Secondary Raw, need these 5 days to be able to go through the papermaking process a few times, with different experiments.

What did we do about the though fibers?

The first experiment is about the way the fibers have to be prepared in order to give the pulp that is needed for paper making. The fibers are quite tough and have to be milled in the milling machine (the hollander) one way or the other.. To do that in the right order, we need to know what kind of plant or tree these fibers come from. What is their original part of the plant? Is it the stem, or the leaves of a plant? What process have the fibers already gone through in Colombia? Rosanna has done this research and showed us the video she made before, about the process of harvesting the fiber and the processing of the fiber, before it is weaved into the textiel the bag is made of.


Time consuming is the work to prepare the bag for the milling. It needs to be cut in small pieces. And then we can start the pulping process.

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