Epson PaperLab promises the ultimate in efficiency for office paper recycling

Epson PaperLab
Epson's PaperLab can even produce coloured or scented paper

A sizeable business will likely use a lot of paper – generally speaking, the paperless office hasn't nearly arrived yet – but what if you could take those used documents and chuck them in a machine on-premise which is capable of recycling them into fresh sheets of A4? That's exactly what Epson's new invention does.

The relatively compact (given its task – of course, as you can see from the picture above, it's hardly small) machine by the name of the PaperLab can take waste paper and turn it into new sheets of paper in a process which doesn't use water.

It's capable of producing paper of various types, with differing thickness – from straightforward A4 sheets to business cards – or indeed fancy paper which is coloured or even scented.

Apparently this is the first such dry recycling papermaking system to be developed, and the company is showing off a prototype at the Eco-Products 2015 show over in Tokyo next week.

The PaperLab is expected to be commercially available in Japan next year, with other regions to follow, although Epson didn't give any indication of when the paper recycling contraption might pitch up in Europe.

Green machine

Epson points out that the machine is particularly environmentally friendly, given that it avoids all the expense and hassle, not to mention carbon dioxide emissions, of having to transport waste paper to a third-party recycling facility. The dry recycling process used is also a green boon, avoiding water usage – ordinarily, the company claims one sheet of A4 paper takes a full cup of water to produce.

As for the speed of paper production, PaperLab is capable of churning out 14 sheets of A4 every minute, producing a total of 6,720 sheets in an eight-hour working day.

We'll keep you updated if we hear any further news on when this machine will be making its way to markets outside Japan.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).