Though some paper is technically recyclable, paper as a whole is one of our most wasted resources. In America alone, each person uses an average of 700 pounds of paper products annually. In the not-too-distant future, those figures could very well see a dramatic decrease.
Researchers at Taiwan’s Industrial Technology Institute has developed the i2R, a new type of erasable paper. Printed on a thermal printer and using cholesteric liquid crystals, the paper can be written on, erased, and re-written on up to 260 times.
The technology is still rather costly, as each sheet costs about $2 to produce, but there are several practical uses for the e-paper in signs, billboards and badges. No word yet on restroom applications.