The Epson PaperLab wants to cut out the middle man and allow a business to directly recycle paper in their own building. Soon, it will be unnecessary to haul waste to a recycling center and then buy new reams of paper. Instead, a company can simply reproduce their own like-new paper on site.
Epson's innovative invention is a combination shredder and paper-making machine. To use it, a company would dump its waste paper into the machine, which then tears it apart and shoots it with a jet-stream of air to “de-ink” the shredded bits. Liquid binders are added to reassemble the fibers into fresh sheets, with a pressure process to form individual sheets of paper into a custom size, thickness, and color. While the PaperLab machine is by no means compact–it measures nine feet by four feet–it can produce 14 sheets of paper every minute. That's over 6,700 sheets during the 8-hour workday!
The environmental advantages are staggering. In addition to saving trees, the PaperLab also saves water. Recycling, alone, already saves 7,000 gallons of water for every ton of paper that's produced through its conventional processes. Epson's machine uses “dry recycling,” which conserves up to another 12,000 gallons of water for every ton of paper created.
The PaperLab is meant for businesses that deal with a large volume of paper–think government offices and banks. When it goes on sale in Japan (to start), the projected price is said to be close to $75,000.