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Seiko Epson Corp., a major Japanese maker of printers and industrial robots, said Thursday it will make use of its paper recycling technology to start producing face masks from late May.

Production will take place at two of its domestic plants and will eliminate the need to outsource masks for its employees. The company based in Nagano Prefecture will also donate 100,000 medical-grade masks, originally intended for internal use, to hospitals.

It has also decided to donate 5,600 face shields, planned to be used by its employees in Japan and abroad, to the prefectural government to help ease medical supply shortages.

The company has not yet decided whether it will sell any of the masks it produces to general consumers.

Seiko Epson’s PaperLab recycling machine for offices produces paper from used paper without the need of any water.

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