World's first erasable toner printer

Green Lifestyle online

A new printer by Toshiba can erase print from office paper, allowing the paper to be reused up to five times.

World's first erasable printer

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A printer that has the potential to cut office paper use by 80 per cent was recently launched in Australia by Toshiba. It’s called the e-STUDIO306LP and it allows you to reuse sheets of printed paper up to five times.

The key is a small unit that sits next to the printer, called the e-STUDIORD30 Paper Reusing Device. Put an unwanted printed sheet in the tray at the top of the e-STUDIORD30 and press a button. The sheet feeds into the machine and reappears in a drawer underneath with the print no longer visible.

Toshiba estimates that a company printing 4000 pages per month could save about 192,000 sheets of paper in five years. That’s the equivalent of about 23 trees said Jon Dee, from action group Do Something!, who officiated at the launch.

“It has the potential to bring about major environmental change, “ Dee said. “This is the Prius equivalent of the printing industry.”

The e-STUDIO306LP is a regular printer, copier, colour scanner and fax machine, but it prints erasable sheets in blue rather than black – so they’re discernable from regular print jobs. When you hold the ‘erased’ sheet up to the light you can still see a very fine outline of the printed text, but not enough to be bothered by it. It’s because the toner hasn’t actually disappeared – it has turned transparent or ‘de-colourised’ with the application of heat.

A handy feature is that when sheets are feed into the eraser, their contents can be scanned and saved in digital format for archiving. The sheets just need to be unfolded and without staple holes or rips.

Pilot, the pen company, is trialling one of the erasable printer combos in its warehouse where picking slips are printed and then discarded once orders are filled. According to Barbara Oliver, Pilot’s Marketing Manager, the warehouse is now using one ream of paper per week instead of one a day.

The printer has the ability to erase double-sided sheets. Toshiba is also working a version for colour printing.

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