Published: June 8, 2010 Updated: might 31, 2019 Tagged With: DIY cleaners, plant a tree, Recycled file


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Paper towels, surprisingly enough, execute come native trees. Shocking right? In fact, paper towels truly come indigenous full-on forests not individual trees, but more on that below.

You are watching: What are bounty paper towels made of

2019 update: When I an initial published this article in 2010, I had actually high really hopes that posts like this would help convince folks come quit using document towels.

Sadly, it’s 9 years later, and also the most recent statistics present that document towel usage is tho on the rise. You deserve to skip come the end of this article to check out the newest statistics. Sigh. Perhaps in an additional 8 year trees will come the end ahead.

Read more: How to quit using file towels forever >>


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Article contents


Why ns don’t use document towels

I haven’t purchase any file towels in years. Someadvocates of file towels note that non-paper bath towel users have actually a self-righteous attitude, but I’m no trying come pull off being much better than anyone else. I merely don’t use file towels because of the adhering to issues…

Paper towels room not eco-friendly and also cause multiple troubles for the world (as you’ll discover out if you check out the remainder of this article).

Some human being love file towels

Not everyone agrees that offering up document towels renders that huge a difference. Some human being don’t even think that lock pose an environmental threat. In Why being “Paper towel Free” Is Overrated the writer notes:

It’s all the rage to say, “I’m record towel-less!” prefer there’s a medal to be winner or a argorial of respect to wear due to the fact that of it. There have the right to be a tinge of shame once you sheepishly raise your hand to recognize you still use them in your home. Being green enough is a entirety new means to keep up v the Jones’. Which ever before side the the fence you’re on, that seems favor a silly allude to reason so much drama, choose there should be other concerns we might be able to make a bigger personal impact on.

The author of this piece cases that nobody can offer her any good reasons regarding why she shouldn’t use file towels. She likewise states the there’s a absence of details out there about document towels. She walk on come say the the cons of file towels she’s review make no sense.

This author says that the many common arguments against record towels include:

Paper towels equal contamination via production and transport.They space made with virgin trees for this reason “killing” trees.They’re processed through chemicals.They don’t recycle well.There’s no factor to use them if you have actually cloth.

Then she claims that she’s not persuaded that any kind of of the over is true.

Um? I’m not certain where she thinks record towels come native if she doesn’t believe they come indigenous trees, and also as because that the rest, that’s all true too. I don’t recognize where she was looking for facts, however I’m shocked, because record towel facts are basic to find.

Now, due to the fact that she’s stating there’s no decent information out over there how around some document towel facts, let’s look in ~ some.

What precisely are file towels?

Forest assets can be tricky for consumer as the is industry broken into some an essential areas – pulp and also paper, hardwood products, timber, tissue, and nonwoven. Paper towels autumn under organization production and also is the second most typical tissue product purchased by consumers.

Paper commodities are further split in various ways by groups such as the American woodland & document Association (AF&PA) into items like; Containerboard, Kraft Paper, Paperboard, printing & writing Papers, Pulp, Specialty Packaging and Industrial Papers, Tissue and Newsprint.

How are document towels made?

According to the European tissue Symposium (a big tissue advocacy group), “The basic raw material in tissue production is wood fiber.” lumber fiber – together in a fiber that at some allude originally come from a tree. The wood fiber can be fresh fiber or recycle from waste paper.

Many paper towel manufactures note that, yes, they do undoubtedly manufacture document towels from trees (not a shock) – ns think we deserve to all agree that most paper products come native trees.

Learn an ext about who controls the paper towel market.

Brawny record towels notes, “Sorry, us cannot disclose the precise materials used to manufacture Brawny document products, together it is proprietary and confidential information.” I’m guessing they use trees? What do you think?VIVA notes, “VIVA Towels are made from 100% virgin fiber. The cardboard cores use 100% recycled paper.

According come The State that the file Industry over there is some an excellent news, tissue assets contain far more recycled content than other record products (45%). Yet the tissue market is large, and also as you deserve to see if you visit major document towel manufacturers sites, the vast majority of paper towels top top the market are made v virgin tree fiber.

But doesn’t the record industry tree a ton of tree?!

You shouldn’t compulsively worry about trees vanishing completely. Technically, as advocates of paper towels regularly note, the document industry plants much more trees 보다 they consume.Before you provide the paper industry a medal though, realizethat replanting tree is no the exact same thing as keeping forests.

The record industry calls tree a “renewable resource,” which gives consumers the impression the there space zero difficulties with cutting down trees, yet it’s means more complicated than that.

As Conserveatree notes:

Counting trees individually misses much of your value. “Saving forests” must be the source focus. Trees space not a “crop” in the normal feeling of the word. They are not planted on agricultural farmland. Before a tree farm is planted, woodlands have to fall. While some trees space grown on plantations because that the file industry, specifically in the southern United States, these replanted trees do not do a true forest.

They space usually controlled intensively, with heavy use that petrochemical input such together pesticides, herbicides and also fertilizers. They space monocultures, without the mix of types of trees, various ages, bushes, undergrowth, snags, etc. The true woodlands have. Thus they additionally do not have actually the wildlife, birds, amphibians and biological diversity that a true forest.

Unlike a true forest, replanted trees room not self-sustaining and also require resources and also human time. Tree pulp is only truly “renewable” once the wood has been separately certified together sustainably-harvested Visit the forest Stewardship board of directors (FSC) for an ext info on sustainably harvest forests.

See more: Clue Answer Former Unit Of Money In France, French Franc

Problems created by file towel production

75% that the plantations developed for record and wood commodities in the last two decades have been established at the cost of natural woodlands (USFS, SFRA 2001) and also the counter of woodlands to plantations is the leading reason of freshwater wetland loss in the region. (US Fish & Wildlife Service, Status and Trends the Wetlands in the Conterminous United claims 1986 to 1997.)Rob Gogan, the recycling and also waste manager in ~ Harvard University, estimated that paper towels deserve to account for 20 to 40 percent of one office or dorm’s garbage by volume.The majority of all commercial inks provided in record are made with petroleum, a non-renewable resource. Vegetables oil-based octopus such together soybean, linseed, corn, cottonseed, canola, China wood and rosin room super available and much more environmentally sound and make recycling easier but few document towel makers select vegetable-based inks (some do).

Of course we might get into all the damages the document industry does on the whole, however that’s not 100% related to document towels for this reason you deserve to researchthat ~ above your own time…