Not to mention, paper towel rolls run from $0.80 to $3.00 per roll!
The problem with paper:
Of course, if you really like the convenience of pulling a towel off of a roll, you still can! Even with reusable towels. There are “unpaper” towels which can fit onto any paper towel holder. Some have snaps so they’er easier to roll back up after washing:
Reusable “Unpaper” Towel Options:
These unpaper towel options aren’t exactly cheap. My first recommendation is always to reuse, reuse, reuse. Then try second hand. Then when all else fails, a new reusable is still more sustainable than repeatedly buying single use items. The first option runs at about $18. If a person is using a roll of paper towels every 4 days (on average) this set of unpaper towels will pay for itself in less than a month.
Paper Towel Facts:
- Paper towels are not made of plastic: of course, they are mostly made from trees but also from recycled paper.
- Regardless, most paper towels come wrapped in non-recyclable plastic.
- Paper towels are compostable: true if you have access to home compost or city compost, and if you don’t use them with chemicals. If composting is not an option, they end up in landfills because they CAN’T BE RECYCLED.
- Printed paper towels are made with nasty inks and dyes, and sometimes even chemicals scents People use A LOT of paper towels: 13 billion pounds each year in the US → 40 pounds, the equivalent of 80 rolls, per person, per year
- Environmental impact in the US: producing all that paper consumes a lot of resources, including 110 million trees per year and 130 billion gallons of water. On top of that, you can add the energy to manufacture the paper towels and transport them from the factory to the store to your house and finally to the landfill or the composting facility.