Machine From Japan Turns Office Waste Into Toilet Paper

office toilet paper recycler japan photo

Photo: Nakabayashi
The Other Way Around Would be More Impressive...
I'm not too sure what to think about this 1,300 lbs piece of machinery by Tokyo-based Nakabayashi. It takes paper waste from an office and turns it into toilet paper: "The toilet paper machine is able to produce two rolls per hour from around 1,800 sheets (or 7.2kg) of used A4-sized paper". Seems overkill. What's the footprint of this machine, and what quantity of recycled toilet paper does it need to produce before that compensates for its existence? More details below.From Crunchgear:

Distribution in Japan begin in August and Nakabayashi wants to sell 60 units in the first year. Good luck with that, as each machine comes with a price tag of $95,000. Unfortunately, there is no information on operating costs yet, but I can’t imagine these being in proportion.

If an office really has so much waste paper, a first step would be to find ways to reduce paper consumption in the first place. What is left would probably be more efficiently recycled at a centralized location where the machinery works with much higher volumes of material, making it easier to pay back the initial investment (both in money and natural resources).

The lesson here is that not everything that sounds kind of green at first is. Recycling office paper = good. But there's a better way to do it than this (Japan already has many high-tech recycling centers, and they already collect paper from all buildings)... Now maybe if they figured out a way to recycle electronic waste in situ instead of shipping it to developing countries, that would be something.

Via Crunchgear
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