The Italian Almanac


Apple Paper

A northern Italian inventor is making paper from apples and supplying the offices of Italy's most apple-rich region. "I got the idea when I thought of the high cellulose content of the waste products of apple processing," said Alberto Volcan, an engineer in the Alto Adige (South Tyrol) region.

With money from the regional government, Volcan is now making a range of products including glue and 'leather' goods from Alto Adige apple waste. So far he has supplied the local government with 60,000 envelopes, 7,000 notepads and 6,000 paper bags.

The Alto Adige is Europe's biggest apple producer, with large chunks of the domestic and international markets. Not all of its apples go onto supermarket shelves, however. Many are used to produce apple sauce and other products with the Alto Adige quality label - the stuff from which Volcan gets his raw material.

Local governor Luis Durnwalder said Volcan's work would boost the image of Alto Adige apples among increasingly eco-conscious consumers. "This recycling will have a significant industrial and environmental impact," he added.