Jamarko in Nepali means effort and Jamarko Handmade Paper Products is a commendable effort to manage waste by recycling and reusing paper.
"Paper can be easily recycled and reused, it should not be a part of garbage," says Aruna Lacoul of Jamarko Handmade Paper Products. Lacoul and her sister Muna Shrestha started the company 10 years ago.
In Kathmandu, the pollution caused by piles of waste is clear to see, and this is what prompted the sisters to turn waste into a resource for a commercial venture. They attended a paper recycling training course conducted by the Department of Cottage and Small Industries, and without further ado, started a company. It has already managed to create an environment-friendly brand for itself.
The collected waste paper is sorted, soaked overnight and mashed into a gooey pulp. The pulp is strained and spread over tin sheets according to the thickness of the paper required. It is then dried in the sun and ironed to produce sheets of paper. On a good day, Jamarko can manufacture up to 600-800 sheets.
"The paper produced is of a fairly good quality and can even be used for simple printing," says Lacoul. With the paper, Jamarko produces folders, envelopes, letter pads, notebooks, invitation cards, visiting cards, handicraft items as well as A4/A3 size papers. On the side, the company also produces Nepali Lokta paper and its products. The quality of recycled newspaper is not up to the standards required, so they are reused instead by making paper bags out of them.
Sales at Jamarko soared on World Environment Day this June, but concern for the environment will have to be sustained beyond a day a year if such industries are to gain momentum.
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