No matter how you slice it, recycled paper towels are still a disposable product with a short-use lifespan.
The biggest problem with recycled paper towels, in my opinion, is that they’re a ‘feel-good’ product. Basically, they give people the illusion of taking a great green step, when in reality, a much more sustainable step is to go paper towel free.
Almost all paper towels are manufactured with chlorine, a known toxin which also releases extremely . In fact, in 1985, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) labeled dioxin “the most potent carcinogen ever tested in laboratory animals.”
Paper towels are terribly difficult to recycle and in spite of paper being touted as biodegradable, paper often .
One simple change in the kitchen can make a big difference in reducing waste and saving money: switching to entirely to cloth instead of paper.
This is one easy change that I resisted for a long time but wish I had made the switch much earlier. I think the idea of removing paper products in the kitchen is much more daunting than it actually is to switch.
These are the 3 main reason to switch or avoid them
1. Save trees and resources
Deforestation is one of the biggest challenges we have regarding the preservation of our environment and resources. Producing paper also requires twice as much energy as it does to manufacture a plastic bag. If one ton of paper is recycled, it saves approximately 26,500 liters of water, 17 trees, and about 682.5 gallons of oil.
2. Reduce pollution
Today, 50 percent of business-produced waste consists of paper. Approximately 25 percent of waste in landfills and 33 percent of municipal waste is paper.
Paper and pulp are the third biggest pollution sources for water, air, and soil. During the production of paper, toxic materials from the chlorine-based bleaches are released into the soil, air, and water. As for paper rotting in landfills, it emits methane gas that is known to be 25 times more toxic to life forms than carbon dioxide.
3. Save money
The average cost for 15 rolls of recycled paper towels is around 56 dollars. Over the course of 2-3 years, you could easily use up to 480 rolls of recycled paper towels for an approximate cost of 950 dollars.
If you’re just switching to a paper-free kitchen, setting up a good system for using cloth greatly simplifies things. I have cloth napkins, microfiber cloths and towels in easily accessible places around the kitchen so that even the kids can use them. I also have a place where used towels go so they can be washed.