In-Office Recycling Machine Converts Used Paper to New Paper on the Spot

January 27, 2016 | Elizabeth Knowles

The Epson Paper Lab looks like an oversized fax machine
Photo credit: Courtesy of Epson

From scrap to new in just three minutes!

According to Paper Recycles, about 21 million tons of paper were sent to landfills in 2014. This number continues to go down, but what if there were an easier and faster way to recycle paper? Epson has a solution: PaperLab.

PaperLab is a machine that could sit in the corner of an office and quickly recycle scrap paper into new and usable paper without it having to go through a recycling plant. According to a press release, “PaperLab promises to revolutionize office recycling by securely destroying documents and turning them into office paper using a dry process.”

What do they mean by dry? Normally it takes about a cup of water to recycle a single sheet of paper. Here, it will simply be reduced to fiber form, then bound and shaped into the desired new paper.

The machine is versatile, “able to produce paper of various sizes, thicknesses, and types, from office paper and business card paper to paper that is colored and scented.” Not only could it make offices greener, it will reduce the costs typically associated with shredding confidential information. Epson insists that using PaperLab is an extremely safe way to dispose of documents.

It takes about three minutes to produce the first sheet of paper in a set, but the machine can make about 14 regular-sized sheets a minute once it gets going. This adds up quickly to 4,720 sheets in an 8-hour workday!

Although Epson only plans to put PaperLab into commercial development in Japan this year to start, who knows how far the technology might travel!

Epson has yet to reveal how much the machine will cost and many specific details about how it functions on this inside — like what happens to all the ink — but you can watch their explanatory video below:




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