Seeded paper | (5 min. read)

paper installation coloured papers shaped cut

Seeded paper | (5 min. read)

An insight into seeded paper, its use, and impact. 

With billions of tons of waste filling the earth’s landfills annually, the need for sensible consumption has become more real than ever. Alongside our consumption habits, the visible effects on the environment have driven the industry towards eco-friendly packaging alternatives. 


Eco-friendly packaging is any packaging that’s easy to recycle, created out of recycled materials and safe for its users. The notion behind eco-friendly packaging is using materials and manufacturing practices with minimal impact on energy consumption and natural resources. But what about a packaging solution that can fully return to the environment and contribute to it?
Seeded paper is not a recent discovery but is surely one to be further explored. 
As the name suggests, seeded paper is a form of paper containing  seeds. Easy as it sounds, its production requires seeds incorporated to the paper pulp. In this way, when the paper has reached its end of life, it can be planted in the ground or a pot and grow into flowers or vegetables.

More and more brands adopt the use of seeded paper allowing for this sustainable mindset to expand their creative potential. A perfect example is the distilled non-alcoholic spirit Seedlip that created a gift set with a mycellium box and a thyme-seeded paper tag. With all its components fully biodegradable, this set can make for home-grown fresh herbs for your drink if you use the mycellium box as a planting vessel and the thyme tag as the seed component. 

Packaging is only one of the seeded paper applications that show potential.
“Covid waste” is a fairly new term that came up during the pandemic for the disposal of medical grade face masks. Surgical masks are more than necessary but the waste that comes with their single use has grown to become a real problem.

The Plant Your Mask initiative, faces this problem by creating an eco-friendly face mask called Koobly. This mask can be used a couple of times and planted when no longer useful. It comes with three kinds of vegetable seeds to choose from: pechay, chili, and mustard. 

Another seeded paper mask is that by the designer Marianne de Groot. Marie Bee Bloom, as the product is called, is a biodegradable mask that’s made of rice paper. In this case, should you plant your mask after use, you’ll get to grow flowers. 
Seeded paper does not come without concerns. It surely is a great way to create your own city garden. However, some governments, like Hawai, demonstrate huge concern on the issue for certain areas shouldn’t be planted with new species that could disrupt their ecosystems. There’s also the matter of which ink should be used in printing to make it safe to bury into the ground.

Additionally, seeded paper use for medical purposes, especially throughout the pandemic, is a brilliant idea -but it also brings second thoughts. We cannot be sure that seeded paper masks are the most secure option. It is though at least a step towards the right direction: taking care of the environment and dealing with the aftermath of the covid era and all its consequences.

*Featured image: Paper installation inspired by the idea of paper returning to and contributing back to nature. Created by Lazy Snail Design.