Tipp-ex for the modern world – just hit 'unprint'

Engineers have developed a way of using lasers to remove ink from paper so it can be reused in printers and photocopiers.

It is a Tipp-Ex for the computer age. Engineers have developed a way of using lasers to remove ink from paper so it can be reused in printers and photocopiers.

The researchers at the University of Cambridge used short pulses of laser light to delete words and images that have been printed onto paper.

The laser vaporises the toner ink without damaging the paper and opens up the prospect of future computer printers and photocopiers having an "unprint" function to allow paper to be reused.

Dr Julian Allwood, who led the research team, said it could drastically reduce the number of trees cut down to produce paper and even provide a cheaper alternative to recycling.

He said: "The process works on a wide range of toners. It does not damage the paper so the feasibility for reusing paper in the office is there."

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