Seven Hundred and Fifty Dodos of Paper

Seven Hundred and Fifty Dodos of Paper

While Britain can’t quite decide whether to use Imperial or Metric measurements, we have a revolutionary new idea for weight measurements: The Dodo. 

An extra large whole Christmas turkey at a British supermarket weighs around 8kg. A typical dodo waddling through the grasses and thickets of Mauritius was more than twice the size at around 20kg.  A Dodo, the proposed new measurement of weight, would mean that rather than 13 stone or 80 kg, we could all feel lighter at a meagre 4 Dodos! Smaller units would be called Chicks and even smaller Eggs. What could possibly go wrong? Are you with me?!?

Every year we use seven hundred and fifty Dodos  - or fifteen metric tonnes in old language - of paper to produce the annual Dodo Pads. 

The paper used for printing the Dodo Pad really matters to us. 

For the 2022 Dodo Pad - that I assume you are using right now? -  we used a 100gsm FSC certified sustainable paper from Finland to manufacture Dodo Pads in the UK. Whilst that paper was 'okay', it wasn't quite as good as we had hoped, once it had been printed on, when used with a fountain pen.

We went searching for an alternative with three criteria - it had to be great paper,  better than base level sustainable and it had to be UK made.


James Cropper of Burneside, Kendal, Cumbria, make the new paper for the Dodo Pads in a charming Victorian factory

We were very happy - dodeliriously happy in fact! - to find James Cropper PLC. A UK based, long established, family orientated business with strong environmental and sustainability values.  

Over recent years the team at James Cropper have pioneered a method to recycle used coffee cups, separating the plastic lining from the high quality virgin fibre cup, enabling the paper component  to be recycled and to produce exceptional sustainable specialist papers.

The Dodo Pad recycled coffee cup paper is an exclusive 112gsm weight, manufactured just for us. After some experiments, that was, we thought, just the right weight to get the balance between functionality and capability and bulkiness. (Who wants to carry 128 pages of cardboard as a diary or notebook, even if there is no ink bleed through?)

The 2022-23 Dodo Pad Academic and the 2023 Dodo Pad collection are all printed on our new 112gsm paper.  

'CupCyclyingTM' has been pioneered by James Cropper in the UK

Coffee cups are collected and the fibres are rescued. 95% of the coffee cup goes back to become paper once again and the other 5%, the plastic lining, is used for energy recovery in the production of the recycled papers. 

Just down the road from us on the M5 is our favourite service station in the whole of Britain, South Gloucestershire Services.  Look what we spotted a fortnight ago....

Industrial paper making is an impressive process on big machines.

Paper is a dried and flattened mix of fibres, which can be of any origin - who has used cotton writing paper in the past? 

It all starts in the headbox, where the pulp - fibre, chopped up coffee cups in our case and water - are mixed. The paper making machine takes this liquidy pulp, flows it over a mesh to drain it and then rollers flatten it and driers reduce moisture, it is rolled again for smoothness and finally it is wound on to rolls as finished paper. 


Coffee cups, separated from their plastic lining, chopped up and mixed with water are added to the headbox, the start of making Dodo Pad paper

And ends up as a roll of Dodo Pad 112gsm paper! (Yes, this is the actual Dodo Pad paper being made at the end of March this year!)

The end result is a high quality paper with excellent writing characteristics. 

As well as the inner pages of a Dodo Pad on 112gsm, the papers pouch at the back and the covers are also made from James Cropper coffee cup paper, albeit of a heavier weight and not exclusive to us.

We are really happy with the Dodo Pad 112gsm paper and, when you get your 2023 Dodo Pad or 2022-23 Dodo Pad Academic, we hope you will enjoy using it.

This is all part of how a mess like this...

..can become a dodelightful publication. 

View our 2023 Collection of Dodo Pads and Dodo Pad Academics, all printed on the new 112gsm coffee cup paper, here

Next time - printing and binding, which is a lot more complex than you would imagine. 

And don't forget to email if there any aspect of the Dodo Pad world that you'd like to hear about, please email his Lordship


  • Fiona: July 26, 2022

    Delighted to hear that the new paper is
    a) recycled b) made in UK and c) thicker than last year
    Thank you! (Dodo paddler 1983-90 and 1998-2023)

  • Trillia: July 22, 2022

    Having been a Padler since the very first appearance of Le Dodo, the creation has followed me across the globe. The 2023 pad will now be residing in New Zealand, while its predecessor organised me in Australia. Who wants electronic organising, when His Lordship has provided the best alternative ?

  • Julia: July 19, 2022

    Really interesting, thank you. I was fine with last years paper, however I have my 2023 Dodo Pad and it is so much better, really good. And so good that it is uber sustainable as well. I have used a Dodo Pad for six years and can’t imagine life without it.

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