Recycling Paper Is Still an Energy-Intensive Process. A New Innovation Changes That.

The supply chain for recycling paper burns more fossil fuel than it needs to. Epson has come up with a solution.

Computers and tablets have not succeeded in creating the paperless office we expected. Businesses still like to print — a lot. So Epson, the printer manufacturer, has stepped up its game to help minimize waste, announcing the creation of an in-house paper recycling solution for businesses. Meet the PaperLab.

The purpose of the PaperLab is to cut down on the waste created in the recycling process. Rather than hiring a company to transport paper waste, companies can have a localized solution, which in turn cuts down on new paper purchases. It's an economical, ecological solution all rolled into one.

The PaperLab can produce around 14 A4 sheets per minute, producing a total of 6,720 sheets in a normal 9-to-5 workday. It uses no water; instead, it works by breaking down the paper into tiny fibers, bringing them back together to create a crisp white sheet of paper. 

The prototype will be featured at the 2015 Eco-Products exhibition in Tokyo with plans to bring the PaperLab into Japanese offices by 2016.

Author and environmental strategist Andrew Winston explains how the necessity of finding these green solutions has led to companies being spoiled for choice. “There’s a whole category of things that companies do that save money very quickly,” he says. “All things that fall under kind of the banner of eco-efficiency or energy efficiency or using less.” Epson's PaperLab is proof of that motivation.


Natalie has been writing professionally for about 6 years. After graduating from Ithaca College with a degree in Feature Writing, she snagged a job at where she had the opportunity to review all the latest consumer gadgets. Since then she has become a writer for hire, freelancing for various websites. In her spare time, you may find her riding her motorcycle, reading YA novels, hiking, or playing video games. Follow her on Twitter: @nat_schumaker

Photo Credit: Epson

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