(PhysOrg.com) -- As the latest invention in the wave of green technology, a machine called the "White Goat" that turns office paper into rolls of toilet paper sounds like an intriguing idea. Its Japanese developers, Oriental Co., Ltd., claim that the machine can save 60 cedar trees per year while minimizing office paper waste.
As the company explains, the White Goat uses 40 sheets of standard A4 office paper and some water to make one roll of toilet paper, a process which takes about 30 minutes. First, a built-in shredder cuts the paper into ribbons, which move to a pulper where they are dissolved in water. The resulting pulp is thinned out, dried, and rolled up into ready-to-use toilet paper. Each roll costs about 10 Yen (11 cents) to make, compared to a store-bought roll of about 60 cents.
The 1.8-meter-tall machine, which weighs 600 kg, is set to go on sale this summer for $100,000. At that price, as some critics have pointed out, the White Goat would have to churn out lots of toilet paper to be economical. It would take 200,000 recycled rolls to break even, not including the costs of running the machine. If the machine were to run 24 hours a day, 365 days per year, it would take a little over 11 years to produce the 200,000 rolls. But then again, maybe it’s not all about money. Saving trees, reducing paper waste, and serving as a constant reminder of human impact on the environment are also byproducts of the machine.
Explore further: Thumbnail track pad: Unobtrusive wearable sensor could operate digital devices
More information: Oriental Co. website [Japanese]