A more sustainable method of creation allows paper to be printed on and erased over 50 times before recycling.

Sean Zhang, a chemistry professor at Jilin University, and his team of researchers developed a water-jet printer that requires no ink to function and paper that changes color only when it's wet.

While the ink-free printer might be a head-turner, the water-jet paper is actually the one stealing spotlight. Made with invisible dyes that only take color when dampened, this paper is suitable for general reading purposes. Its unique property allows it to be printed on and erased over 50 times, making it an ideal alternative for people who do not recycle. “So far, we've already achieved four different colors and the prints can last for 22 hours,” Zhang says. “The quality of the water-jet printing is comparable with ink-jet printing. Tests have also shown that the water-reactive dye is low in toxicity.

PSFK provides access to this article and every report, case-study, interview, and analysis that we publish for our members. PSFK Professional Membership also unlocks accessto unlimited customized research assistance and our database of over 100,000 insights on innovation trendspanning across eight industry sectors—from culture and brand to retail and customer experience.
Already a members? Log in