Recycling is a big deal, regardless of what product we are talking about. Plastic, paper, bio products, electronics- not sending these to landfills results in that much less environmental pollution, which ultimately translates into fewer diseases and tragic ends.
Every office, or even household, generates incredible amounts of paper waste. Although more and more people are starting to go for the “no-paper” option when it comes to billing, the amount of junk mail, promotional envelopes, bills and bank statements, is extraordinary. It is difficult to even comprehend why so many trees are being cut every year and turned into tons of paper that gets used once, it is looked at once, and then trashed.
Epson, one of the lead companies for office equipment in the world, has developed a new type of machine- one that can revolutionize paper recycling, eliminate paper waste, and at the same time put the old shredder to shame when it comes to privacy.
Meet the PaperLab– the machine that converts any used document into a clean, white, ready to use sheet in a matter of seconds. Although not much is revealed about the exact principle in which the machine operates, the official company press release says that all you need is a little bit of water to maintain a set humidity level, but nothing like the typical wet process.
We also learn that the recycling process includes fiberizing, binding and forming. During fiberizing, the waste paper is converted to long and thin cotton-like fibers. Then, during the binding process, special substances (undisclosed yet, hopefully biodegradable and eco-friendly) are added, in order to change, or reset the properties of the paper, like color and flammability. In the last step, the forming, the fiber is pressed into brand new paper sheets.
The Epson PaperLab can produce 14 A4 sheets per minute, which adds to about 6,720 sheets during a normal working day. What is more, it can also make the in different shapes, and for different purposes- A3 sheets, thick paper for business cards, even scented and colored paper.
The first prototype was shown at the Eco-Products environmental exhibition in Tokyo last month. There, Epson revealed that they expect commercial production some time this year. They have not said, however, whether they will give more details about what exactly goes on inside the Epson PaperLab.
Image (c) Epson