Home > Uncategorized > Can recycling become obsolete before it becomes mainstream?

Can recycling become obsolete before it becomes mainstream?

Everyday we are told another way in which we are destroying our Earth, and everyday we are greeted with thousands of ways to help stop the human impact on the planet. “RECYCLE” “TURN OFF LIGHTS WHEN NOT IN USE” “BRING YOUR OWN BAGS” These signs are ones we probably see everyday. I know this is true at least for the GW community.

And instead of humanity as a whole improving how we live with the planet, we do what we do best: innovate. Lights are now LED; are so much more energy efficient, and only need to be replaced every 100 or so years, reducing waste. Bags and bottle caps are being made with less plastic, and certain districts *ahem* are charging you for ever bag you use.

But what about recycling? Certainly there is no better way to do what is already being done. Paper gets turned into new paper, and efficiently too. This article thinks otherwise.  The new “unprinter” does exactly what it does on the box. It unprints. And while now I see a red underline under the word when I type it, unprinting seems to have what it takes to become mainstream.

It is more efficient than recycling, is certainly more faster, and just seems cooler. The toner on the paper is super heated until it vaporises off the paper, leaving a brand new blank piece of paper to now be printed on.

I can see this becoming the norm. There is definitely an opportunity to capatalise on this. Imagine a unprinter-printer combo if you will. If you want to print something off, you just slip in any piece of paper, blank or with something on it. The printer will then unprint the paper and print whatever your want on it, right then and there. The waste of homes might be smaller, I don’t normally print off more than ten pages a week; but for corporations the potential could be huge.

What do you think? Is this the future of paper recycling? Or are the blue/green bins the way to go?

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: ,
  1. MTDM
    March 19, 2012 at 2:14 am

    I think that this new technology is really fascinating, and could hold a lot of potential for the future of recycling. However, I don’t see many people “hopping on board” this new product. I don’t know this for sure, but I am assuming that this non-printer machine is probably pretty expensive. And while many people are all for helping the Earth and recycling as much as they can, it’s frustrating when it costs so much. And as for corporations getting involved, I am not so sure the time and energy spent uncopying all the paper would be worth the time just printing on new paper. I am not saying that it is the right, or the good thing, but corporations don’t always do what is right or good.

    I hope that people do see the good in this new idea though, and take the time to consider it carefully. However, I am very skeptic as to if it will ever really take off.

  2. March 20, 2012 at 2:33 am

    Many people who are blue-collar workers and who live in more rural areas definitely do not have the extra money for LED lights, battery powered cars, and the many other things that are considered “good for the environment.” While all of America is jumping on the bandwagon of this “save the Earth” platform, many Americans are still struggling just to buy food, keep their house, or even find a job. In this economy and the trials people are facing, it is definitely more important to be focusing more on lowering things like unemployment and creating stable jobs and a better market for goods. Saving the environment takes second place when peoples’ livelihoods are at stake. It is better to look at the overall picture of America right now, than to look at things like re-using printer paper when there are a lot of families who can’t even buy shoes when they need them.

  3. March 26, 2012 at 12:22 am

    Recycling has actually been questioned since its inception. In fact, it’s very possible that recycling wastes more than it saves. Here’s why: consider an average American neighborhood. Each person has to have two bins: one for waste and one for recycling. That means that there has to be two different trucks to come around to pick up each bin respectively. Consider the trucks: these things are monstrous gas-guzzlers that pollute a ton, and now, because of recycling, we need one more for every American neighborhood. Also, recycling plants aren’t exactly places without environmental impact. And that’s just two problems with recycling: there’s actually many more (a simple Google search will tell all).

    I’m not saying recycling is a bad thing, I’m just saying it’s questionable if it really helps all that much, especially when much of what constitutes recycling–paper–is a renewable resource with little possibility of becoming extinguished.

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