"Please think before you print", now a trio of Chinese inventors hopes to add another device to the cubicle environment: the P&P Office Waste Paper Processor, which turns paper destined for recycling into pencils. The machine, looking a bit like a three-hole punch crossed with an electric pencil sharpener, was a finalist in the 2010 Lite-On Awards, an international competition that seeks to stimulate and nurture innovation.
Here's how the pencil-making gadget works: You insert wastepaper into a feed slot. The machine draws the paper in, rolls and compresses it, and then inserts a piece of lead from a storage chamber located in the top of the device. A small amount of glue is added before -- voilà -- a pencil slides out from a hole on the side. It's not clear how many pieces of paper form a single pencil, but you figure the average office worker could generate a decent supply of pencils in a month.