Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Think I might just pop my Salary slip and tax returns in here

Instead of sending shredded documents to a recycling centre, incurring expense and energy, office managers will soon be able to feed them into a machine and turn them into lavatory paper.

Pop in 40 sheets of regular A4 paper, and a half-hour later, the paper has been shredded, mixed with water, turned into a pulp, flattened, dried and converted into a roll of lavatory paper.

The manufacturers of the White Goat machine estimates it costs about 10c (6p) to turn the waste paper into loo paper – equating to about six times cheaper than a roll of Andrex White Toilet Tissue, which usually retails for about 38p.

The quality of the paper, as demonstrated in the video, suggests a fairer comparison could be Tesco Value paper, which costs just 11p a roll.

However, it is estimated that on top of any running costs the machine, made by Japanese company Oriental, will cost $100,000 (£63,000), making the economics of it suitable for large companies only.

The machine was unveiled about six weeks ago at the Eco Products trade fair in Tokyo, but the video demonstrating the technology has become an internet hit when it was posted on the Diginfo.tv Japanese website last week.

James Holland, editor of the gadget website Electricpig, said: "I can think of several people who'd like to flush their workload down the loo, but this takes it to another level.

"I love the idea, and eco warriors will go barmy for it too. I guess you'll need to be wary of any stray staples though."

Oriental insist that any stray matter is removed from documents by the White Goat machine.