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Did you know

  • Paper towels account for over 30% of landfill waste.
  • Each tonne of paper towels used requires 24 full grown trees to produce.
  • A medium office with 50 staff, will consume an average of 500 towels each day at a cost of £570.00 per year!


Paper towels vs hand dryers – which is the most effective hand drying solution?

Deciding whether to provide paper towels or electric hand dryers in workplace restrooms should in theory, be a quick and easy choice to make. However, for the person responsible, the decision can become the bane of their life!

The problem is there are just so many conflicting viewpoints about cost and hygiene benefits, which one creates the least mess and the environmental impact of both. There have also been endless studies carried out on the subject and unsurprisingly both paper towel and hand dryer manufacturers are keen to defend their products.

There is no doubt that installing a hot air hand dryer is convenient. They require very little maintenance and once installed, there is no need to worry about providing clean hand towels and continually checking that used towels are not overflowing out of the bin or discarded on the floor.

However, hot air dryers only allow for one user at a time and research suggests that on average each person takes up to one minute to dry their hands. This inconvenience often leads to people not using them and another study found that people spend an average of 22.5 seconds using the dryer and 41% then dry their hands on their clothes.

A new generation of ‘jet powered’ hand dryers are helping to change this, by shooting hot air out at up to 400mph and blowing away moisture in seconds, but some studies claim these powerful units spread bacteria everywhere as well as onto those using them. Researchers found five times more bacteria in the air around jet-air dryers than warm air dryers and 27 times more than in the air surrounding paper towel dispensers.

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