Epson has become the latest printer company to develop a solution designed to reduce the environmental impact of printing.
While companies like Xerox and Toshiba have focused on reducing paper consumption through the development of eraseable toner and re-usable paper, Epson is going down the route of on-site recycling and
It has developed what it describes as the world’s first office recycling and paper-making system capable of producing new paper from securely shredded waste paper, without the use of water.
The PaperLab was exhibited at EcoProducts 2015 in Tokyo on December 10- 12, and is planned to go into commercial production next year, initially for the Japanese market.
PaperLab performs three essential functions:
1. On-site recycling. Instead of having to transport waste to a central recycling facility, PaperLab enables paper recycling to be carried out in the office;
2. Secure shredding. PaperLab breaks documents down into paper fires, removing the need for the shredding or off-site disposal of confiential documents; and
3. Paper-making. PaperLab is able to produce paper of various types, sizes and thickness, from A4 and A3 printer paper to business cards. Paper can even be coloured and scented. The system can produce about 14 A4 sheets per minute, or 6,720 sheets in an eight-hour day.
PaperLab uses Epson’s Dry Fiber Technology, which enables paper to be recycled and remanufactured without water. Because, the system doesn’t need plumbed-in water, it can be placed wherever is most convenient.
Dry Fiber Technology performs three functions: fierising, which turns waste paper into long, thin cotton-like fires; binding, the addition of binders to strengthen, whiten, colour or perfume the fire; and forming to produce sheets of paper and card with full control over the density, thickness and size of paper.