Photo: Naša kuća

When the power of parental love unites, there are no obstacles. The parents’ association that founded Naša kuća (Our House) in 2007 to provide support and conditions for a safer and better life for children with developmental disabilities proves that this statement is true. If we add that the association’s activity includes ecology, then this story takes on a new dimension. During a conversation with the president of this association, Anica Spasov, we peeked into the unique world of Naša kuća.

We believe that by now, you have heard that paper can also be produced from recycled cigarette packs. However, you may not have known that the first recycled paper was produced in our country in 2019 in this very association. The production story started a few years earlier in cooperation with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Namely, senior volunteers of this Japanese agency stayed in Serbia for two years to teach our people the traditional Japanese technology of manual paper making. Although there are other sources of cellulose in Japan, in Serbia, the best quality paper is found in cigarette packs because they have the highest percentage of cellulose.


“The production process differs depending on whether white or colored paper is being made. The process is more complex for producing white paper. Then the outer and inner parts of the cigarette pack paper are separated from the middle layer needed for production. The process is simpler if colored paper is produced because only the cellophane is discarded. When they undergo this treatment, parts of cigarette packs pass through a shredding machine, after which such paper is placed in water where it is stirred for about five hours to separate the fine cellulose fibers,” explains Anica Spasov.

Photo: Naša kuća

The mixture obtained in this way is again placed in water, from which the mixture is extracted using frames with a special sieve and a thin layer of paper is formed. Finally, the water is extracted from the paper with a large industrial vacuum cleaner, and the paper is sanded with rollers and then dried for at least 24 hours. Pigments can be added to this paper, as well as different vegetable and fruit seeds, which allows new plants to sprout from the paper that ends up in nature.

In our region, Naša kuća is the only one that deals with this kind of production technique, and their paper can go through the recycling process several times without changing its properties. “Due to the complexity of the production process, which is based on manual work, instead of large companies, we opted for the market of art paper ordered by painters and artists. We also cooperate with various non-governmental organizations, and we print promotional material for all their events, especially environmental ones,” says Anica. They are especially proud of their collaboration with Katarina Majić, the author of the Environmental Book. For the promotion of this book, 50 copies were printed on their paper.

They opened their centers in Zaječar and Kragujevac, and if funds are provided, the plan is to open centers in Arandjelovac, Leskovac, Novi Sad and other cities.

Prepared by: Katarina Vuinac

Read the story in the new issue of the Energy portal Magazine ENERGETIC EFFICIENCY