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Circulation numbers might be tumbling at the Calgary Herald, but Robin Tremblay has found a productive use for the beleaguered newspaper

The Second Life of Newspapers

Oct 16, 2012

He buys tonnes of Herald newsprint, turns it into pulp and manufactures thin-walled, molded packaging.

His company, Calgary-based Pulp Packaging, makes the inserts that cradle products in cardboard boxes, protecting everything from computer parts to LED lights to jars of pickles. It’s been done before, but Tremblay has come up with an innovation (which he’s understandably reluctant to talk about, since he hasn’t yet patented it) that allows him to bring down the cost of creating a mold to a fraction of what it used to be – and to pass that on to customers.

One recent job Tremblay did was for Victoria, B.C.’s Bobbex deer repellent, which is used to keep the tick-infested ungulates away from flowers. “It’s in a spray bottle and it’s made of old rotten fish and eggs and it stinks,” Tremblay says. Bobbex got banned by Canada Post and FedEx because the bottles kept breaking and, it goes without saying, clearing the sorting room. But thanks to Pulp Packaging, you can once again get your Bobbex through the mail.
Tremblay’s invention won’t save the newspaper industry, of course. But, at the very least, it means that somebody will still be able to say they’re turning a profit on newspapers.

The Details
Tonnes of Calgary Herald consumed per month
Cost per tonne
Calgary Herald’s percentage of Pulp Packaging’s total inputs
(they also use cardboard)

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