epson’s paperlab office system recycles shredded documents to produce fresh new paper
all images courtesy of epson





japanese printer company epson has developed a compact office paper making system capable of producing new paper from securely shredded waste paper without the use of water. businesses and government offices that install a ‘paperlab’ in the building will be able to produce various sizes, thicknesses, and types, from office paper and business card paper to paper that is colored and scented. 


‘printlab’ system process
video courtesy of epson




ordinarily paper is recycled in an extensive process that typically involves transporting waste paper from the office to a recycling facility. with ‘paperlab’, epson is looking to shorten and localize the cycle to just in the office. 

seiko-epson-paperlab-papermaking-system-designboom-02the epson ‘paperlab’




the system would be able to safely dispose of documents onsite instead of handling them over to a private shredding company. ‘paperlab’ breaks documents down into paper fibers, so the information on them is completely destroyed. after loading the waste paper, it takes about three minutes to produce the first new sheet. it can produce about 14 A4 sheets per minute and 6,270 sheets in an eight hour day. 

seiko-epson-paperlab-papermaking-system-designboom-03the dry fiber process




the epson ‘paperlab’ uses a dry fiber process which consists of three separate steps – fiberizing, binding and forming. fiberizing restores paper to thin cottony fibers without the need of water. binding increases the strength or whiteness of the paper, with the option of adding color, fragrances, flame resistance or other properties needed for a given application. finally forming produces the actually sheets of paper. epson plan to put the service into commercial use in japan in 2016.

 seiko-epson-paperlab-papermaking-system-designboom-04the ‘paperlab’ would locally produce paper at any office building