Guide to buying paper towels


white 2ply z fold hand towel 1138 p

What should I consider when choosing my paper towel?

Paper towels, or hand towels are a huge part of our society, and are used by a mulititde of people for many differing reasons. They can be used for drying hands, mopping up spills, and everyday cleaning. 

In todays' blog, we'll examine
everything you should be looking at and evaluating, when considering which type of hand towel is for you.  

Many people think that price is the most important factor, and it is important, but you also need to think about what impression do you want to make; how many towels are in a case (because a case of towels at £20 for 1200 towels is VERY different than for a case of towels at £20 for 5000 towels).  

Other areas for consideration would be how many ply, sheet size, absorbancy, fold or roll, centrefeed or handtowel roll? 

See what I mean? Something so simple like choosing a handtowel is actaully quite involved. 

Can you recycle paper towels?

This is a really interesting question, because once you have finished reading the answer to this question you will be very enlightened about the paper industry. 

Recycling paper of any kind means that it has to be made into paper pulp and filled with glue.  Many people believe that recycled paper products are better; more eco friendly, stronger and better for the environment; but when we are dealing with hygiene products; toilet paper or hand towels, this is not the case. 

With a virgin paper product, a product which has never been recycled you can guarantee that paper is strong, because the fibres haven't been broken down over and over again, effectively weakening the essence or the fibres that give the paper its strength. You can be sure that when you put this paper into a compostable bin, this paper is made from ONLY natural products, ensuring it is compostable and will return to the elements from what it became; oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide. Because this paper is virgin, it is not full of glue, meaning the paper will not only break down when it is allowed to compost, but also that it will break down in water, because it is not full of glue - meaning it can be flushed down the toilet without creating blockages.  

So yes you can recycle paper towels - into other paper towels and into toilet roll, but in my opionion I think that it creates an unsanitary product which is not clean, and it is full of glue meaning the life of this paper towel will be forever changed because it cannot be made into another hygiene product.  These are the reasons we do not stock ANY recycled toilet rolls or hand towels here at Astral Hygiene.  

What parameters do Astral use to evaluate paper towels?

At Astral Hygiene Ltd, product sustainability is at the very top of our evaluation process.  If a product can be sustainable, and come from a sustainable source - and it isn't; it doesn't get through our quality control.  Even if its the cheapest on the market, Astral won't stock it becuase it isn't the best at that price point because it doesn't tick the sustainability box.  

Instead, we look for paper that meets a certain standard, the EU Ecolabel standard.  

Established in 1992 and recognised across Europe and worldwide, the EU Ecolabel is a label of environmental excellence that is awarded to products and services meeting high environmental standards throughout their life-cycle: from raw material extraction, to production, distribution and disposal. The EU Ecolabel promotes the circular economy by encouraging producers to generate less waste and CO2 during the manufacturing process. The EU Ecolabel criteria also encourages companies to develop products that are durable, easy to repair and recycle.

The EU Ecolabel criteria provide exigent guidelines for companies looking to lower their environmental impact and guarantee the efficiency of their environmental actions through third party controls. Furthermore, many companies turn to the EU Ecolabel criteria for guidance on eco-friendly best practices when developing their product lines.

We look for this standard, to ensure that the paper we are bringing in to Astral Hygiene is coming from a sustainable forest, is packaged and transported in the most envornomentally friendly way possible and what we are taking from our planet, we are replenshing. This is of the upmost importance to Astral Hygiene, and this directive comes directly from our top team. 

We are passionate about this, so that our buying team have to work even harder than everyone else to satisy this criteria, and make sure we are bringing not only the best, but the most sustainable paper to all of our customers. 

At Astral we stock lots of different types of towel, so there are a few different things you should consider.  

How many ply? This is how many layers of paper are used to make the complete paper towel. The higher the ply count, the more absorbent, thick, soft, and strong the paper towel will be. In considering this, you should think about who will be using the paper and where it is going to be. A nice luxury hotel, would use a higher ply count for thier customers, versus for example a butchers shop who will get through high volumes of paper towels due to continually hand washing.  

Sheet Size? 

Paper towels come in different sizes, consider which size would be best for your needs. Smaller paper towels can help you to use less overall, but larger ones can be more useful for big spills.

Folded? What type? 

C-Folded - These are the most common folded paper towel, where a square towel has both sides folded inwards to meet in the middle. Z-Folded/Multi-folded offer an interlocking mechanism, so as the paper towel is pulled out of the dispenser, the towel after will follow it. This is hygienic and easy to control usage. Single fold or V-Fold is another option, these are simply folded down the middle, interlocked again. This controls their usage and means that consumption and waste are reduced.

We also have rolled or centre feed towels.  Centre feed is often found in commercial kitchens, where rolled hand towels are often found in very high traffic areas, where lots of people are coming in to use the facilities. 

If you would like any advice on the best system for you, give us a call and one of our advisers will be happy to guide you to the best solution for your needs. 


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