Recently, we had a long chat with Joel Klippert, who developed PaperStone. Together with LeeAnn, his wife, he's developed EcoTop, a new countertop material that's similar in some ways to PaperStone -- it can be cut with woodworking tools -- but uses entirely different component materials.
EcoTop is an FSC-certified blend of 50% bamboo fiber and 50% wood fiber recovered from construction sites. Judging from the sample we have, the fibers are rolled into sheets, then saturated with resin and pressed into a hard surface; you can see the sheets sticking out from the edge of the sample above, which is cut off before the product is sold.
The big difference, according to Joel, is that the water-based, UV-stable resin is pigmented before the product goes together. This means that EcoTop can be made in virtually any color, including pure, bright white. (We saw a sample and it looked great.) Other advantages include consistent color the whole way through; PaperStone and Richlite can "onion ring" if sanded too aggressively.
The cost of materials should be competitive with entry- to mid-level granite. Contact your local green retailer for more information, or check out the EcoTop website.
Photo Jonathan Bean