Epson PaperLab

Epson is a Japanese electronics company and one of the largest manufacturers of printers in the world. In 2017, it has announced a paper recycling machine intended for companies that is awarded the Gold Award for Good Design (METI Minister Award). This paper laboratory is capable of producing different formats of sheets. 

With the new recycling machine, which you may have in your office or want to take, you don’t need to look for an office clearance service but will be able to recycle office papers immediately after using them. But some questions remain about your energy consumption and the type of chemicals used in the recycling process.

Everyone has a recycling bin in the office or workplace for papers. What if, in the next phase, a paper recycling machine was installed which would enable you to recycle papers with notes that are now useless? It would also be a great relief for the offices and the environment.

Businesses and government offices that install a paper lab in the building will be able to produce a variety of sizes, thicknesses and types, from office paper and business card paper to coloured and scented paper. Usually, paper is recycled in an extensive process that usually involves transporting the waste paper from the office to a recycling facility. With ‘paper lab‘, Epson is looking to shorten and localize the cycle only in the office.

This is what Epson proposes with a paper lab. The machine is certainly impressive as it is a real factory. The system will be able to securely dispose of documents instead of handing them over to a private shredding company. ‘Paper lab’ breaks down documents into paper fibres, so the information on them is destroyed. After loading the used paper, it takes about three minutes to produce the first new sheet. It can produce around 14 A4 sheets per minute and 6,270 sheets in an eight-hour day. The output format is also configurable and you can play alchemist by turning the post-it into a beautiful stiff paper to make business cards.

The conversions are carried out in three stages that require practically no water, just enough to maintain the minimum moisture level required for the treatment. First, the machine turns the recycled paper into fibres, into long threads that will later be processed in a second stage to add a colour or special properties thanks to chemical substances. Finally, these added fibres will be pressed into sheets.

The ecological advantages of such a car are not immediately perceptible. Epson says its machine uses hardly any water, and that an office that has this type of machine can ask the city’s trucks that collect paper for recycling not to pass through the company again, thereby reducing CO2 emissions. However, it is legitimate to ask how much the machine uses, what substances it uses to create its paper, or how the ink comes out of the sheets.


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