As a small business owner, chances are you use a lot of paper.
According to an infographic from PaperKarma and Catalog Spree, the average office worker in the U.S. uses 10,000 sheets of copy paper each year and paper waste makes up around 27 percent municipal waste.
Your small business may make an effort to recycle as much paper waste as possible. But one company has developed a machine that could take your recycling efforts to a whole new level.
Typically, paper waste is sent out from the office to be collected for recycling, then transported to a recycling center, then processed and finally transported again to be sold. With PaperLab, Epson claims this process can all be done in your office, cutting down on further waste and expense.
Epson claims their papermaker machine can take waste paper to produce new paper in a variety of sizes, thicknesses, colors and even smells. You know, if scented paper is the kind of thing your business uses.
The papermaker machine can be placed in the backyard area of your office, or possibly some other unobtrusive place. Though the company made no mention of it in its announcement, it’s possible the paper making process is not a quiet one.
Paper waste is loaded into the machine and the company says the first sheet of new paper is produced in around three minutes.
From there the company claims PaperLab can produce around 14 sheets of standard office paper a minute and around 6,720 sheets in an eight hour workday. That’s a lot of recycled paper.
To make things even more environmentally and economically friendly, PaperLab supposedly does not use water in its recycling process. This makes it so no plumbing is needed to install the machine. Instead PaperLab uses what Epson calls “dry fiber technology.”
The company did not explain exactly how this dry process works. Supposedly waste paper is somehow broken down into long, thin, cottony fibers that are then bound and formed into the desired type of paper.
There are apparently a number of different “binders” that can be used depending on the kind of paper you are trying to produce, but none were mentioned specifically.
Epson plans to demo their prototype at Eco-Products 2015 held in Tokyo. It may be a while before any marketable version makes it’s way overseas. The company does plan to start production for PaperLab sometime in 2016 in Japan.
Whether your business eventually purchases this technology or other businesses provide it as a service, this papermaker could totally change the way businesses take care of their paper waste.