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E-Paper To Be As Disposable As Normal Paper?

Illustration for article titled E-Paper To Be As Disposable As Normal Paper?

Well, as disposable as RECYCLING that paper is, anyway. (You do recycle, right?) University researchers have found a way to turn paper into e-paper—that is, the same electronic screen in a Kindle.

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Professor Andrew Steckl, from the University of Cincinnati, successfully showed how electrowetting paper works in a similar manner to electrowetting glass. While e-paper is good for a few years at least (or however long it takes before you damage your Kindle), Steckl says this paper e-paper "is very cheap, very fast, full-color and at the end of the day or the end of the week, you could pitch it into the trash."

Obviously on a normal piece of paper, you can only store so much data—unless you're writing in pencil and are constantly erasing. This paper e-paper would contain as much information as a computer monitor, according to Steckl, but can be thrown out easily, with few environmental repercussions.

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While I'm not too sure about that last claim, it's fascinating work that Steckl and his team has conducted in the field. Considering we've been getting all het up over just color e-paper in the past, Steckl's work should go far. [TG Daily via SlashGear]

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DISCUSSION

Paper recycling. hmm

I'm not convinced it is as beneficial as most people are led to believe. Aluminum recycling sure, but paper... not so much. Paper is a very renewable resource.

There are lots of energy, chemicals, water and other materials used to process the used paper. And even after being processed, the recycled paper is less useful than paper from tree farms.

Additionally, virgin forests aren't clear cut for paper, manufacturers want quality control so that's what tree-farms are for. They need more paper, they plant more trees.

Besides, just think about the biological process involved....

Trees pull carbon out of the atmosphere and use it to grow, so burying that paper in a landfill will return that carbon to be stored back in the ground... instead of giving anyone the opportunity to either waste fossil fuels (and add carbon to the atmosphere) by re-processing it, or return the carbon to the atmosphere directly by burning it (as many city incinerators do).

But back on topic... (well I was only kinda off topic..)

I highly doubt e-paper will ever be truly as recyclable as traditional paper.