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Epson’s new paper recycler uses waste paper to create fresh sheets right in your office

Recycling is supposed to help the planet, but it can be a nightmare when it comes to both logistics and resources. To help make it easier, the Seiko Epson Corporation has developed a new in-office recycling system called PaperLab that eliminates the need for water to turn document waste into clean new paper. PaperLab acknowledges that while paper plays a crucial role in many industries, paper consumption is also rapidly exhausting one of earth’s finite natural resources. By transforming waste paper into usable, clean paper materials on-site and without water, PaperLab offers a whole new take on recycling.

Traditionally, paper recycling processes require shipping discarded paper materials to specified paper manufacturing facilities. The secure disposal of confidential documents before recycling also throws a wrench into the process, but With PaperLab, waste paper is transformed into a clean paper resource in the exact location that the waste is created. The system eliminates the security vulnerability of transporting sensitive documents for shredding before recycling, and even more importantly, the PaperLab system does its job without using any water at all. In the past, it has taken approximately one cup of water to create a single sheet of A4 paper from recycled materials. That adds up quickly.

Epson PaperLab paper recycling process
Epson/YouTube

Related: What do those numbered recycle symbols on plastic mean anyway?

PaperLab breaks down waste paper into microscopic paper fibers before creating entirely new sheets. This makes sensitive information completely irretrievable, and also makes the paper production process more efficient. PaperLab can produce a new sheet of paper within just three minutes of pushing “Start”. Running at full speed, PaperLab can churn out up to 14 A4 sheets per minute, or 6,720 sheets over the course of an eight-hour workday. PaperLab also enables specialized sizing for paper products, like A3 or A4 sheets, or even business cards. Since the clean paper is being created from scratch, PaperLab allows for adjustment to the density and thickness of any new sheet of paper.

Seiko Epson’s aim is to increase operational efficiency by localizing paper recycling within businesses and industry hubs, and even government offices. They envision PaperLab installations in office backyards or storage spaces, since the compact system doesn’t require any plumbing resources. For more specific practical applications, PaperLab also boasts binding options and specific paper features like flame resistance.