Paper Hand Towels – What is there to Know?

Posted on July 23, 2019.
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Well, if you’re a business looking to install a paper hand towel dispenser in your office kitchen area or bathroom, there are actually a few things you may want to consider!
The different types of hand towels ultimately boils down to cost, so a little bit of reading should help you make the correct choice for your office.

Types of Paper Hand Towels

C- fold

Hand towels that are folded in on themselves in a C-shape.
They remain the most common choice for folder hand towel, and yet cause problems with over useage as people tend to pull several out of a dispenser in one go, and don’t make full use of the folded nature of the towel.
These are suitable for lower traffic areas.
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Z- fold

As suggested, Z-fold towels are folded in a Z-shape and when dispensed from a hand towel dispenser, will open out automatically. You won’t pull out several at once. Sometimes called ‘M’ fold or multifold. Definitily a better option for cutting down waste than a C-fold hand towel but bear in mind it may not fit your hand towel dispenser.
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V – fold

Single folded paper towels are ever more popular. Like a Z fold it’ll open automatically when pulled from a dispenser and only pull one towel at a time. The towels are interlinked so when one is pulled out, the next towel is pulled down and ready. Great lower cost option.
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Continuous Roll

A good choice for a high traffic busy area, a continuous roll will have more hand dries per roll and therefore last longer.

Ply and absorbency

Ply – One or Two? Two ply is simply two sheets of paper bonded together, to make a thicker and more absorbent sheet. However, it doesn’t mean they are always the best choice for you. Many 1-ply hand towels stand up to the job thanks to improved technologies.

Regardless of ply, you want an absorbent hand towel. More absorbency can be created by adding ridges or patterns on the design, as they will pull more water into them.

Are paper hand towels Eco friendly?

There is a minefield of conflicting information online as to whether paper hand towels are an eco friendly alternative to hand dryers or not.

The first thing to mention about paper hand towels is that they are not recyclable, as they are ‘contaminated’ waste.
The production of paper is growing, and demand is outstripping the number of trees we can re-plant. It is an energy consuming process to produce paper, including a lot of water and the addition of chemicals.
On the plus side, many paper hand towels are made from paper which has already been recycled, some upto 7 times before.
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Many brands will have pledged to be a sustainable product. For example, the Katrin brand is certified under two European Eco labels, the Nordic Swan and Eu Flower labels, awarded to products which meet high environmental standards throughout production.
Try and look for a product which does meet Eco standards and made from recycled paper.

Final Thoughts…

Ever had trouble with blocked drains in the office? Finally, there is a dissolvable, flushable hand towel made of pure cellulose tissue. The tissues are temporarily wet-resistant, but readily breakdown when flushed down the loo. If your workplace has had a blocked drain problem before, or you are in a higher-risk workplace such as school or care home, consider a flushable hand towel.

If you’re buying paper hand towels for the first time, or changing from one type of product to another, don’t forget, we can supply a range of hand towel dispensers to suit your needs. You can open a trade account online to enjoy bulk discounts or call us on 0151 342 2111 for bigger discount on your first order.


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