Categories: technology, economy, environment
What? Epson's new "PaperLab", a 9' x 4' paper-making machine, could revolutionize how offices recycle paper. With the push of a button, the machine breaks down paper into long thin fibres, uses chemicals to rebind the fibres, and creates sheets of paper under a high pressure process. It can produce 14 sheets/minute (6,270 sheets/8 hours). Epson has yet to set a price, but the PaperLab is expected to go on sale in Japan in 2016.
So What? The PaperLab may help companies eliminate the external processing of confidential documents, thus reducing costs related to transportation and recycling while also decreasing some security concerns. The technology could also have positive environmental impacts for forest and water conservation efforts. In the short term, the machine may appeal largely to banks, insurance companies and government offices, as these organizations produce a lot of confidential material. Overtime, as the technology evolves, it may become more widely accessible. Paper recycling machines may become available for home use, similar to the Filabot, a machine that recycles plastic materials into 3D printing filaments for use with 3D printers. Recycling materials closer to consumption could have the capacity to re-shape current supply chains, reducing the length and complexity of these chains towards more localized structures.
Source: Fast Company - Epson Debuts World's First Paper Recycling Machine For Your Office