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Toshiba Intros Printer That Erases Paper Documents

On Wednesday Toshiba revealed the world's first eco-friendly multi-function printer system that can actually erase images and text from a document. That's right: it can un-print a printed letter, possibly saving jobs, marriages, and ultimately money in the long run.

According to Toshiba, this printer system includes the e-STUDIO 306LP MFP and the e-STUDIO RD30. The document is printed on the e-STUDIO 360LP using a special erasable toner, and then to "erase" the text or image, the document is passed through the RD30 which removes the toner color using high-levels of heat. The RD30 even scans the document before it's wiped clean.

"The key features of the RD30 are its ability to sort paper into reusable and un-reusable sheets at the same time as removing the toner color, and to digitize the documents prior to erasing," Toshiba said. "Normally, documents that have been used, for example, at a meeting, are either filed away or scrapped, but with this system, there is no filing or destroying of paper documents, and the contents of the documents can be converted into data and saved for future use."

Toshiba said that the new system houses Intelligent Green MFP Technology with the built-in erasing system, allowing users to refill their paper tray five times with the same paper. That said, if the same piece of paper is used five times, then the system's total CO2 emissions will be reduced around 57-percent (as opposed to printing once per sheet). The cost of paper is also reduced to around one-fifth, and the system's lower ecological footprint will improve "the standing of the enterprise in CSR campaigns."

"Toshiba's award-winning design team incorporated bio-based plastics into this innovative re-usable paper MFP," the company said. "Bio-based plastics are made from raw materials extracted from plants, Bio-based plastics are environmentally friendly, producing approximately 20-percent less CO2 during its production when compared with petroleum-based plastics."

Toshiba's new erasable printing system will launch in Japan first in February 2013, followed by a worldwide release sometime thereafter. Pricing is currently unavailable.

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