Here’s a way to re-use paper over and over again

Toshiba’s newly unveiled multi-functional printer with in-built erasable printing capabilities is a world first, and can slash paper use in offices by as much as 80 per cent.

A video showcasing the abilities of Toshiba's new printer which uses a special toner to make erasable print-outs. Video: Toshiba

Japanese electronics giant Toshiba has unveiled a new printer that it says will help slash paper use in the workplace by some 80 per cent, thanks to erasable toner technology that allows a single sheet of paper to be re-used five times. 

The appliance, released in mid-June and known as the Toshiba e-STUDIO4508LP, is a multifunctional printer—that is, it can also scan, copy, and fax documents. In addition to conventional printing capabilities, it is equipped with the ability to print using an erasable blue toner and a unit that can erase print-outs using this special toner. 

The eraser unit works in a way similar to the popular brand of pens with erasable pens, Pilot Frixion; where it applies heat and pressure to erase the toner on a printed page. 

The erasable function is ideal for documents that don’t need to be permanently archived, such as emails, document drafts, and reminders, according to Toshiba. When such documents are printed using the blue toner, they can be fed back into the machine when they are no longer needed; the device erases the ink so that the sheet of paper can be reused. 

Not only would such a device help companies reduce their paper use, it would also slash the cost of purchasing paper, says the company. 

The erasable toner technology used in the printer is not new; Toshiba launched it in 2013, but until now required customers to purchase two additional devices to make erasable print-outs. 

But the recently launched model for the first time integrates the erasable toner technology into a standard printer, making it easy for office workers to make erasable print-outs. It also lets users automatically print all emails or faxes in erasable ink. 

Bret Davies, general manager of Toshiba Australia and New Zealand’s electronic imaging division, said in a statement that “Toshiba has recognised that staff are more environmentally conscious, but with productivity pressures, need to be able to print quickly and effortlessly without the need to be away from their desks for too long.”

“Combining the erasable printing technology into one device makes this unique technology more accessible to businesses and gives users time saving benefits, particularly in smaller offices that often have space constraints,” added Davies. 

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