Recycling office paper isn’t difficult, but reusing a piece of paper that has already been printed on only leaves you with a few options. You can use that paper for scrap, rip off a piece of the paper to make a note, or turn the paper over to write something on the other side. None of these options allow you to truly reuse the paper though, since you can’t actually erase the ink that has already been printed – or can you?
The Verge reports that some researchers and engineers over the University of Cambridge have created a device called the “unprinter.” As you might have guessed from the name of this device, the unprinter effective removes all print (or ink) from a piece of paper so that piece of paper can be printed on once again. The result of a piece of paper that’s been run through the unprinter is a clear sheet of white paper that you’d never know had a past life.
The Unprinter uses lasers to remove ink from paper. These lasers effectively apply heat and zap the paper, which, in turn, removes all traces of ink. Ever time a paper is zapped, the pristine white color of the paper turns a darker shade of white and will eventually turn yellow after many uses. But the point here is that you can remove ink from the same piece of paper numerous times, print new stuff on that piece of paper, and truly recycle everything that you don’t really need. After all, lots of printed sheets of paper float around offices and stores every day, and most of these pages aren’t kept and are never read, and this, my friends, is a massive waste.
Imagine if a team of engineers could create a device like the Unprinter that removed tattoo ink just as painlessly and easily as the Unprinter removes regular ink. Suddenly, getting a tattoo wouldn’t be such a big deal…but I digress. The Unprinter is a very cool invention that deserves high marks. So where can you can this printer and how soon before you can install it inside of your office?
The Purchasing and Availability Details
Unfortunately, there’s no real information regarding where or when you can purchase an Unprinter. Since the device was an experiment from the start, it isn’t likely that the Unprinter will hit store shelves anytime soon, though it is encouraging to know that this technology exists. As you might have guessed, pricing information on this product is also unknown, though I’m going to assume that technology like this won’t be cheap. Then again, I could be completely wrong and the Unprinter could be priced so that everyone can afford one.
Keep your eyes and ears open for more information about the Unprinter. Right now, this device is merely an experiment, but it’s an experiment that works and is bound to be mass-produced within the near future. In the meantime, if you use a lot of paper at home or in the office, take the time to recycle that paper any way that you know how.