We see printers doing their job practically everywhere from homes to shops to offices. They make our work super easy and save a lot of time. Everything about printers is perfect, except one -- they help in carbon emissions as countless trees are felled every year worldwide to fulfil the paper industry’s demand.
Additionally, the process of making paper itself involves the use of polluting resources like coal or gas. The pulp & paper industry, worldwide, is the fourth biggest carbon-emitting sector. Even during the digital age, with no alternative solution, the demand for paper is still going up, along with unlimited wastage. Estimates show that to produce 1 lakh sheets of paper from new sources, 8 trees need to be cut using around 2,000 kWh of energy.
To solve the problem of unlimited wastage of paper across industries, an Israel-based company Reep Corp has introduced an invention called De-printer, which allows the use of a single piece of paper up to 10 times. The device can strip ink from paper in just no time and make it shiny white again, thereby reducing the overall cost and helping organisations become sustainable.
The Israel-based company, Reep Corp claims its REEP printer offers the print industry’s first re-printing capability by using innovative laser technology that can completely remove all the ink from the page. The system also allows users to print and re-print the same sheet of paper, up to 10 times.
Reep’s solution is based on laser de-printing, combined with advanced materials that allow the paper to be reused many times. The company says its de-printing technology is the first one in the industry to receive a 100% score on "Ingede’s industry-standard deinking test".
The process of deinking is done using a powerful laser and a special paper coating that thwarts ink from soaking into the paper. The process involves evaporating the ink, and the pigments left behind can be recycled back into new printer inks. To make it scalable, the company is adding its solutions to the existing legacy printers as they can work with all kinds of printers.
The company says it provides its customers with its own de-print devices and reusable paper, eliminating the need to procure, store, collect, shred and recycle single-use printer paper. The main features of these de-printers are that they are compatible with legacy office printers and inks. They do not compromise paper and printing standards and cut companies' total printing and paper costs.
"The Reep system transforms the carbon footprint of office printing, reducing carbon emissions and resource consumption by over 90%. Trees left standing to amplify carbon sequestration, making print operations climate positive," says the company. Reep’s technology can really help solve one of the major problems facing the paper industry by empowering a circular economy model, say experts.
The concept of removing ink from paper is not new, but it has never been scaled up to the industrial level. About 28 years ago in 1994, the US government granted a patent to one Richard Buie for inventing a method to de-ink and reuse paper sheets to reduce the cost of the new paper.
A similar research was published on September 25, 2009, in The Royal Society titled 'Using solvents to remove a toner print so that office paper might be reused'. Written by Thomas AM Counsell and Julion M Allwood, the research paper reported on experiments that investigate the use of solvents to allow "black toner print to be removed from white cut-size office paper".