In Maine, a startup has developed beer coasters that use both wood pulp and waste grain from breweries in an effort to both capitalize on the state’s boom in craft brewing and offset the decline in Maine’s paper mills.
University of Maine Process Development Center made the prototypes for Maine Coasters + Bio Boards using pine and spruce wood pulp as a base along with spent grain and vegetable dyes. Maine-based paper mills have already begun producing the coasters.
“Our pulpboard is unlike anything else on the market,” says a statement on Maine Coasters + Bio Boards’s website. “We use softwood pulp native to Maine, combined with spent grain from local breweries, to form a multilayered web. It is highly absorbent with a smooth surface, ideal for offset lithographic printing.”
Currently, nine out of every 10 beverage coasters in the U.S. come from raw materials in Germany, a company spokesman told Woodworking Network. “Maine has the natural resources, infrastructure, and world-class research facilities to make them in-state. That’s our goal. We want to create bio-based products locally that are healthy for the environment and connect consumers to their favorite brands.”
There are over 100 craft breweries in Maine.