What is Paperboard? Why Furniture?

Engineered paperboard is strong, durable and, importantly, sustainable. It’s not cardboard or carton board – the engineered board has a patented core which is a high-density paper fibre structure tilted to 15 degrees. The closed cell technique gives a perfectly balanced weight/strength ratio to position paper as a highly viable alternative to other materials for furniture design – with many other benefits too.

The workplace is changing. There is a recognition of the need to link interior design to the organisation’s identity, culture and functional requirements whilst embracing the importance of well-being and sustainability. As occupiers, designers and specifiers re-imagine the working environment, they have the opportunity to embrace new materials and ideas.

A Swedish company, The Apple Tree Company, has introduced a range of furniture manufactured from paperboard. It’s strong and practical, has recycled content (the black finish is 100% recycled) and is easily recycled – eventually at the end of useful life. The furniture includes a surface of highly compressed paper which means it’s water repellent so occasional spills can be wiped away. It contains no harmful chemicals such as VOCs and is manufactured using water-based adhesives.

The pulp and paper industry has been implementing a circular approach for many years. Unlike many alternative materials, there is no difficulty in finding a recycling route.

Furniture includes a warranty for strength and stability and options include tables, stools, storage shelving as well as more decorative pieces such as three sizes of ‘tree’. Top surfaces include a replaceable top ‘layer’ – it’s slotted into place so can be easily replaced if required. It can also be printed using UV inks so it’s still recyclable.

As well as stylish furniture solutions, the Company has also developed worktops for reuse projects using existing table and desk frames. The tops also include the replaceable surface too. In addition, there are buy back options available.

As the office design sector faces the challenges of sustainability and lifecycle management, furniture made from engineered paperboard offers a highly credible and viable solution.

For further information please contact:

Joanna Knight, UK Manager, The Apple Tree Company



About Phoebe Train

Phoebe is a Marketing and Events Executive, who joined the BCFA as an English graduate in 2021. Working closely with designers and BCFA members, Phoebe has published an array of content for Design Insider.
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