According to the treehugger's mantra, you're supposed to reduce and reuse before resorting to recycling. So maybe you don't print out every email and you're sure to use both sides of each page when you can. But after making those reasonable efforts, you reluctantly toss that paper in a blue bin—or, depending on the sensitivity of the document, perhaps you first turn it into confetti.
But did you ever wonder what happens to the contents of all those blue bins? Don't look at us, we don't know the answer. But we imagine it takes a bunch of logistics, fuel, time and energy—not to mention money—to coordinate all that recycling. Seiko Epson's hoping to majorly reduce that process with PaperLab, a machine that would turn paper waste back into usable paper without ever having to leave your office building.
Epson showed off a prototype of the machine at the Eco-Products 2015 show last week in Tokyo. Although we didn't make it to the show, their reps emailed us that they're still determining how much the device will cost: "The aim is to set a price that will make customers feel they are benefitting financially from performing their paper recycling in house."
It sounds like a great idea for every business, however it'll probably be targeted more towards places like banks, insurance companies and government agencies that have the funds and incentive to justify such a purchase because of the mega-reams of documents they would otherwise have to go to great lengths to ensure are securely destroyed.