Paper towels can be used in a variety of ways. They can be seen at birthday parties, weddings, receptions, baptismal, company events, meet-ups, and in your favorite fast food chain or restaurant. Generally, they are there to keep your hands from being all sticky and gross, but they can also be used to wipe away any dirt that gets into your shirt or bag.
Consequently, paper towels can also be used in the bathroom. However, the problem is that many of us are using paper towels and not being concreted about how many trees we are using. If you want to be friendly towards the environment, you may be looking for the best eco-friendly paper towels.
The difference with these kinds of paper towels is that you can help save the environment as most of these rolls are made from sustainably-harvested trees (e.g. 3 trees are planted after 1 was taken down). Or, their packaging is made with recycled material. Paper towels that haven’t been bleached are also gentler to your skin and to the environment.
Best Biodegradable Paper Towels Reviews
Here are our top picks for the best eco-friendly paper towels:
1. Aria Premium Earth-Friendly Paper Towels
This paper towel set can be used as toilet paper, bathroom tissue, and the like, and it comes in 12 rolls in one pack. Compared to other toilet paper which has fossil fuel in their materials, each of them comes in 94% plant-based, recyclable packaging so it is eco-friendly.
The rolls have 308 sheets of tissues each and because they come in a 2-ply design, they can be tough and thick. For each tree that they use, the company plants 3 trees in return so they result in an eco-friendly product. Sustainably-sourced trees are the materials used for each of the tissue rolls.
The company’s products and materials also meet the Sustainable Forest Initiative (SFI) Certified Sourcing Standard to add to their eco-friendly resolve.
The paper towel is also ECF or elemental chlorine-free as certified by the U.S. EPA wastewater effluent limitations. This means that they are not bleached at all and use an alternative way of making them white. The process of making ECF paper towels actually even gives higher wood yields compared to other traditional methods.
2. Bamboo Towels – Heavy Duty Eco Friendly Machine Washable Reusable Bamboo Towels
If you’re looking for a kitchen roll that’s eco-friendly, you might like this one. Each roll can be equivalent to 6 months of towels due to its durability and thick material. The 20 bamboo sheets on each pack have 11 x 12 inches of size. They can easily fit into any dispenser that you may have in your kitchen.
Since they are perforated, they can be easily torn off for quick use. Since they are made from bamboo material, they are eco-friendly as well. And the plus point here: they are reusable and washable! This means that you can toss them into the washing machine until they can no longer be used.
You can use them for general household cleaning, bathrooms, overhauling your room, and other uses such as for traveling. Because of the bamboo material, it can be tough in every use.
3. Seventh Generation Paper Towels, 100% Recycled Paper
These paper towels are made from 100% recycled material so they are eco-friendly. They are also made without chlorine bleach so this adds to being environmentally-conscious. Each pack has 6 rolls with 2-ply design so they are not only absorbent but also strong enough not to easily tear apart when wet.
The rolls are made without any dyes, fragrances, ink, or anything unnecessary to the environment. Each roll has 140 sheets in total when you buy a pack of 6 rolls. If you liked Bounty paper towels but want an eco-friendly option, this one can be a brand for you.
The paper that they used is compliant with the FSC C115279 standards for responsibility towards the environment. What’s more, virgin fiber has been used for all of these paper towels.
4. Pacific Blue Basic Recycled Multifold Paper Towels
If you’re not that meticulous about getting a white-colored tissue, this can be an eco-friendly choice. It’s not bleached at all since it’s still brown, which means it doesn’t contain bleaching chemicals. Recycled materials have been used in making them and they can be used for a multitude of ways.
Easy to fold, they can be used for simple hand-drying or for your business. Each pack has 250 towels and each case has 16 packs. This would be a nice touch to your restaurant or food business. Each towel that was folded measures 9.2 x 3.25 inches and expands to 9.2 x 9.4 inches when unfolded.
You can also put them into your favorite dispenser, whether it’s the countertop dispenser or a wall-mounted dispenser. You have the option to fold it in different ways, such as center-fold, z-fold, or multi-fold.
5. NooTrees Bamboo 3-ply Bathroom Tissue, Ecofriendly, Biodegradable & Sustainable
Also made of bamboo material, this paper towel is strong, soft, and absorbent for easily drying your hands. Each pack has 12 rolls with 220 sheets and the materials used are sustainable, made from 100% virgin EcoLuxe – bamboo pulp that has been sustainably harvested.
The bamboo pulp has been proven to be 20% better in absorbency as compared to the regular wood pulp that’s used for typical tissue paper or mainstream paper towels. Because the paper towels are made without BPAs, dyes, artificial fragrances, or harmful chemicals, this means that they can be a healthier and eco-friendlier choice.
Related Post: The 5 Best Eco-Friendly Toothbrush Reviews
The bamboo used for the paper towels is also FSC certified from sustainable sources. What’s more, bamboo even has natural antifungal properties, which can make them ideal for handwashing. Each roll has a 3-ply thickness as well so you don’t have to worry about soggy tissues anymore.
Things to Consider Before You Buy
To look for the best eco-friendly paper towels, here are things you may want to know first:
How do I choose the best eco-friendly paper towels?
Here are the things you may want to look for if you want the best eco-friendly paper towels:
- Not bleached. Bleaching processes can be tough not only on your skin but also on the environment. Eco-friendly paper towels do not have bleaching processes. Instead, they use an alternative method of whitening the paper towel product. Others don’t even whiten them to show the people that their product is sustainable and doesn’t include harmful chemicals.
- No artificial dyes or other chemicals used. Do you ever see those paper towels that are made with printed patterns? Those may look fancy, but they can actually be harmful to the environment if they are chemical-based that are harmful to your skin and to the natural resources. To avoid this, choosing eco-friendly paper towels that are plain without prints can do a part in lessening the toxic waste in our environment as a whole.
- Sustainable sources. If you buy eco-friendly paper towels then you are buying from sustainable resources. For instance, these trees or wood are FSC certified and they have proper permits. They are also quickly replaced with 3 or more trees for each one that is used, which is the sign of sustainable use for a tree.
- Smart and eco-friendly packaging. If the eco-friendly paper towel is made with recycled material, it should be at least 50% or more in terms of the amount of recycled material used to make it eco-friendly. The packaging should also be smart and should be no fuss in terms of unpacking and installing, making it easy to use and deploy to your favorite tissue holder.
- Responsible and reputable company. If the eco-friendly paper towels are made with a company that shows their eco-friendly processes and is honest to the core, it can be a good company to buy from. They must disclose the processes that should let the customers know that they are getting from sustainable sources.
- Durable and strong. Sometimes, bleaching can actually weaken the paper towel. By buying an eco-friendly paper towel, it can mean that it’s tougher and much better in cleaning up your mess. Most of them are also made from bamboo other than regular wood pulp.
- Absorbent. Aside from being strong, these eco-friendly paper towels can also be highly absorbent just as regular tissue or paper towel is.
Why should I buy eco-friendly paper towels?
So why should you bother with eco-friendly paper towels? What’s the difference? Well, here are reasons to buy them:
You’re giving back to Mother Nature.
When you purchase eco-friendly paper towels, you are saving the Earth one tree at a time. Most manufacturers make paper towels that have materials sustainably sourced and replaced. For instance, one tree that they may have used will be replaced by 3 or more to give back to the environment.
Another thing is the material used. If your paper towels aren’t bleached, it will not impact the environment in a bad way. Bleach can harm our waters and our soils so it can be helpful if we are not using bleached products, let’s say, paper towels or tissue paper.
You aren’t getting bleach on your skin.
Bleach, as we mentioned, is a harmful chemical that could do us harm as well. Most people get skin irritations when they’ve used tissue that has been bleached. This is why to lessen the likelihood of irritation and skin problems, it can be important to use eco-friendly paper towels instead of bleached ones.
Most of them can be durable and tough.
A majority of the eco-friendly paper towels out there are in 2-ply or 3-ply and are made with tougher fibers from trees. This means that they are strong and tough – say goodbye to soggy tissues or paper towels while you’re using them to dry up!
In fact, some of them can be reusable paper towels, which adds more value to them. You can wash them in the washing machine. With this method, it can save you from spending too much yearly on paper towels and you also throw less waste to the environment.
A lot of these paper towels aren’t that expensive.
The difference, if there’s any, is very little in terms of the pricing. Therefore, it’s not that difficult to try eco-friendly paper towels as compared to mainstream ones out there.
How do I use eco-friendly paper towels?
To use eco-friendly paper towels, all you need to do is to install them into your tissue holder or rack. There are different kinds of paper towel holders out there, depending on the intended use.
- For kitchen use, they can come from those closed tissue dispensers and you can just install them depending on the configuration that you get when you buy.
- If you intend to use it in the bathroom, they can be put into your toilet paper dispenser easily depending on how it was designed.
- For those with businesses, you can just place them in your casual tissue holder or you can put them in the tissue dispenser.
If you already have a tissue holder at hand that accepts a certain kind of fold, make sure that you buy the right folded design for the paper towel that you want. For instance, there are c-folds, z-folds, m-folds, and the like.
To wrap it up, our top pick for the best eco-friendly paper towels is the Aria Premium Earth-Friendly Paper Towels because it is ECF or elemental chlorine-free as certified and proven by the U.S. EPA wastewater effluent limitations. This means that the paper towels are not bleached at all and can have less impact on your skin and to the environment.
Because they are in a 2-ply design, they are tough and not easy to break when you’re using them. The packaging is also 94% plant-based, adding to their eco-friendly resolve. For each tree they use as material, they plant 3 in return, so the company is truly concerned with nature.
Our other picks in this article are also eco-friendly in their materials. However, we picked Aria’s paper towels because of their company’s trustworthiness and thorough honesty for their production methods and materials.
Name: Rebecca Tarvin
Discipline: Integrative biology
Degrees: B.A., Biology, Boston University, 2010; Ph.D., Biological Sciences, University of Texas at Austin,2017
Rebecca Tarvin is broadly interested in integrating studies of natural history with molecular genomics and phylogenetics. Specifically, she aims to elucidate causal genetic mechanisms underlying novel traits, characterize phenotypic diversification at macro and micro-evolutionary scales, and identify factors that promote and constrain biodiversity.
She also likes to write about eco-friendly lifestyle and other material alternatives that are eco-friendly, aside from other ways to save Mother Earth