Ukrainian man creates paper from fallen tree leaves


The technology uses the cellulose of the leaves, replacing the trunks and thus avoiding the felling of trees

As a high school student, Valentyn Frechka became a member of the Ukrainian Youth Academy of Sciences. At that time, he was in the forest with his grandfather when he had an idea: if the paper is made of cellulose, why not do without the trunks and use another part of the trees in the manufacture of the products? I was thinking of the leaves that naturally fall to the ground.

During his studies, Valentyn began testing this idea in the laboratory, then presented his research in student competitions in Ukraine, Tunisia, Kenya, Serbia, South Korea and the United States. He also represented Ukraine at the University Startup World Cup in 2019.

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With the spread of his project in the Ukrainian media, the entrepreneur caught the attention of Andriy Vartsaba, an environmentally conscious businessman interested in using the system created by Valentyn to produce paper for commercial purposes. . The method, in addition to not cutting down trees, proved to be cheaper.

After working on the technology for a year and a half and conducting three industrial pilots, in March 2019 Valentyn received a Ukrainian patent for its sheet recycling technology.

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In 2020, Valentyn and Andriy founded RE-Leaf PAPER. Thanks to an agreement with the Kyiv city administration, the supply of sheets was secured and in October 2020 they produced the first and a half ton of industrial paper made from sheets.

The paper has a density of 90 and 100 g/m2 and a thickness of 0.2 mm. Therefore, the product can be used for paper bags, utensils and cardboard.

According to RE-Leaf, each ton of paper that uses leaves as a raw material avoids the felling of 17 mature trees, reuses 2.3 tons of leaves and emits 78% less CO2 than traditional papermaking.

After the first production, RE-leaf received a grant from a Ukrainian start-up fund and came in second place in the Kyiv Tech Hub online start-up competition.

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The company intends to attract investment to build an industrial plant with a processing capacity of 20,000 tons of dead leaves per year.

More info on this adventure on

It is one of many stories interrupted by the absurdity of war.

Like Ukraine, many countries, regions and peoples of the world suffer from this unjustifiable violence.

May we have the wisdom and strength to find the peace so necessary for our own survival. And that the right to peace and a dignified life be guaranteed to all the peoples of this planet, whatever their origin, creed, race or any other condition.

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