Skip to main content

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

The new Epson PaperLab
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

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.

Editors' Recommendations

Optical illusions could help us build the next generation of AI
Artificial intelligence digital eye closeup.

You look at an image of a black circle on a grid of circular dots. It resembles a hole burned into a piece of white mesh material, although it’s actually a flat, stationary image on a screen or piece of paper. But your brain doesn’t comprehend it like that. Like some low-level hallucinatory experience, your mind trips out; perceiving the static image as the mouth of a black tunnel that’s moving towards you.

Responding to the verisimilitude of the effect, the body starts to unconsciously react: the eye’s pupils dilate to let more light in, just as they would adjust if you were about to be plunged into darkness to ensure the best possible vision.

Read more
Meta wants to supercharge Wikipedia with an AI upgrade
the wikipedia logo on a pink background

Wikipedia has a problem. And Meta, the not-too-long-ago rebranded Facebook, may just have the answer.

Let’s back up. Wikipedia is one of the largest-scale collaborative projects in human history, with more than 100,000 volunteer human editors contributing to the construction and maintenance of a mind-bogglingly large, multi-language encyclopedia consisting of millions of articles. Upward of 17,000 new articles are added to Wikipedia each month, while tweaks and modifications are continuously made to its existing corpus of articles. The most popular Wiki articles have been edited thousands of times, reflecting the very latest research, insights, and up-to-the-minute information.

Read more
The next big thing in science is already in your pocket
A researcher looks at a protein diagram on his monitor

Supercomputers are an essential part of modern science. By crunching numbers and performing calculations that would take eons for us humans to complete by ourselves, they help us do things that would otherwise be impossible, like predicting hurricane flight paths, simulating nuclear disasters, or modeling how experimental drugs might effect human cells. But that computing power comes at a price -- literally. Supercomputer-dependent research is notoriously expensive. It's not uncommon for research institutions to pay upward of $1,000 for a single hour of supercomputer use, and sometimes more, depending on the hardware that's required.

But lately, rather than relying on big, expensive supercomputers, more and more scientists are turning to a different method for their number-crunching needs: distributed supercomputing. You've probably heard of this before. Instead of relying on a single, centralized computer to perform a given task, this crowdsourced style of computing draws computational power from a distributed network of volunteers, typically by running special software on home PCs or smartphones. Individually, these volunteer computers aren't particularly powerful, but if you string enough of them together, their collective power can easily eclipse that of any centralized supercomputer -- and often for a fraction of the cost.

Read more