Monadnock Paper blazes a fiber-based 'plastic' trail

Monadnock Paper Mills, one of the last remaining paper mills in New Hampshire, has been quietly building up a stable of high-profile national customers for its newly launched portfolio of sustainable, fiber-based plastic alternatives.

Last week, the Bennington-based company announced the official launch of its Envi Portfolio, a fiber-based product line that features what it calls "unplastic" packaging and materials. The portfolio includes everything from fiber-based card stock, which companies can use for eco-friendly gift and loyalty cards, to fiber-based labels for beer and wine bottles that can withstand long soaks in the ice bucket.

So far, major retailers Gap, REI and Chipotle are among the companies using the gift cards, and Vermont-based Long Trail Brewing Company uses the labels on its ales and other brews.

Monadnock was in the early stages of developing the gift card in March 2011, when the company was the subject of an NHBR article. Now, a year a half later, "we have hundreds of millions out there in the marketplace," said David Lunati, Monadnock's vice president of marketing and business development, who said the cards hold up as well as their plastic counterparts.

Monadnock customers see the cards "as an environmentally preferable alternative to PVC, which is what's ubiquitous in the marketplace now," said Lunati. "All the problems with PVC — sending it to a landfill and incineration — we eliminate that with the fiber-based card."

Another product in the line are the Envi Wallgraphics, which are made with renewable, post-consumer waste fiber and adhere to walls and windows in the home and commercial environments.

"For a long time we've been in wallpaper," said Lunati. "A source of growth has been overseas, (with) growing middle classes there with discretionary purchasing power looking to upgrade their homes to a more Western look."


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