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Paperworld Middle East Highlights Metaverse and Eco-Friendly Innovation Through Dedicated Sustainability Zone

16 Nov 2022

Project Sustainability showcases the latest eco-friendly products from local and international brands. Final day of The Hub Forum hears how embracing the metaverse drive engagement in UAE education sector

Dubai, UAE: Sustainability has been a key showcase on the second day of the co-located Paperworld Middle East and Gifts & Lifestyle Middle East trade fairs at Dubai World Trade Centre, which wrap up tomorrow.

The Middle East and Africa’s dedicated dual trade fairs for paper, stationery, office supplies, as well as gifts, accents, and lifestyle products has witnessed a determined push towards eco-friendly products from exhibitors this year.

The second day of The Hub Forum focused on the metaverse and how it can impact the UAE education sector. Speaking as part of a panel discussion, Ritesh Dhanak, Chief Digital and Innovation Officer at GEMS Modern Academy, explored how the school has recently launched a magazine in the metaverse, highlighting the influence it is already having on student collaboration.

“The Web 3.0 will allow us freedom and ownership, and if we look at teachers and learners, this opens up so many opportunities,” said Dhanak. “In theory, we could have students hold their learning history on a wallet of sorts, and whenever they move to a new school, it is a quick tap to transfer all their history to a new teacher, who can download the data – all within a secure network.

“We asked students trained in design to put together the layout of our magazine, and then decided to try and host it on the metaverse. This way, we can update the magazine, add and build new interactive features and creative spaces for students and teachers in the product. We have found that doing this has increased engagement for everyone who wants to participate. It is also the future, and learning how to navigate it at an early age is only beneficial to a student’s development.”

Long-time exhibitor, Luxor, is showcasing its latest selection of eco-friendly writing materials this year. They are also the first writing instrument company in the world to receive the Global Recycled Standard (GRS) – a certification that tracks a company’s end-to-end process, from the purchase of raw materials to manufacturing to packaging.

“With everyone talking about sustainability and the world moving in that direction, we are excited to be part of the cause,” said Vivek Chaturvedi, Senior Vice President at Luxor. “We say our new products are 71 per cent recyclable – excluding the ink, the tip, and the reservoir that cannot be recycled – everything else is bio-degradable and reusable, including the plastic barrel.”

Returning to the show this year is Linc Limited, one of India’s most trusted writing instrument brands. Incorporated in 1976, the company is currently credited with producing 2.5 million writing instruments daily. For the 11th edition of Paperworld Middle East, Linc Limited have brought their pastel collection pens to the MENA region following an increase in demand from consumers. 

Earthbags, a 28-year-old Jute bag-making company from India and the only IGBC gold-certified green factory in the country, has returned this year to Gifts and Lifestyle Middle East to launch its new range of eco-friendly, reusable bags. Apart from creating promotional, packaging, gifts, and beach bags, it has designed a wide range of vibrant bags playing around with various colours and prints. “Dubai is moving aggressively into plastic-free campaigns, which shows us a lot of upcoming demand for sustainable bags like our earthbags,” said Anurag Himatsingka, Managing Director at Earthbags. “We are excited to tap into the UAE market and bring that same sustainability focus.”


Project Sustainability 

A key segment of this year’s edition is Project Sustainability, which highlights eco-friendly products within the paper and stationery industry.

Letts of London, the first creators of the commercial diary back in 1812, has brought their Conscious Collection to the 11th edition of Paperworld Middle East. Keeping innovation at its core, the brand’s mission is to create more eco-friendly collections using recycled materials to help their customers plan their days and protect the planet at the same time.

The Conscious Collection, comprising planners, diaries, weekly planners, and to-do lists is made of recycled paper and the products are entirely recyclable. The covers of the planners and diaries are made of recycled PET bottles, while the ink used within the products is a vegan-soy ink. The planners can also be unhinged and reused, making it a product for life. 

“We displayed the collection earlier this year at the London Stationery Show and we’ve just launched the products in the market last month,” said Tom Ingram, General Sales Manager, Letts of London. “We’ve come to Paperworld Middle East this year with the intention of meeting business partners within the UAE industry and neighbouring markets – particularly Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and India. The first two days of the show have been fruitful, and we look forward to returning next year.” 

First-time exhibitor, Save the Planet, is showcasing its plantable stationery range this year. The UAE-based company, founded in 2019, has spent the past two years working on its plantable stationery made from recycled paper, including pens and pencils. Championing its slogan ‘Use and Grow’, all products have plant seeds embedded in the disposable parts, which can be planted and grown at home. These seeds vary from tomatoes to basil to coriander.

“This is our first time at Paperworld Middle East, and we’ve witnessed great traction at the stand within the first two days with leads from across the Emirates, as well as neighbouring markets such as Kuwait, Iran, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia,” said Viksit Khanna, Director, Save The Planet. “Despite being present in the market for a little more than two years, the show has proven to be an excellent platform for networking and creating further awareness of the products and the brand as a whole.”

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