Paper towels are a common household item that is often taken for granted. However, the conventional paper towels that we use every day are not eco-friendly and can harm the environment. They are single-use, made from trees, and often processed with chemicals that are harmful to the planet. Additionally, paper towels cannot be recycled, which means that they contribute significantly to household waste.

Fortunately, sustainable alternatives and eco-friendly disposable paper towels are available in the market. While the percentage of paper towels made from recycled materials is still relatively low, there are options available that can effectively mop up messes without harming the planet. In this article, we will explore the best eco-friendly and recycled paper towels that are available in the market and provide recommendations based on independent research and brand confirmations.

The Best Eco-Friendly Paper Towels For Conscious Clean-Ups

For those who prefer disposable paper products, there are several options that are both eco-friendly and highly absorbent. Seventh Generation offers a 2-ply, cloth-like paper towel that is both durable and soft. Their “Select-a-Size” option allows for less waste when dealing with smaller spills. Hardwound and multifold options are also available for those who need a more heavy-duty paper towel.

For a more sustainable option, Who Gives A Crap offers biodegradable paper towels made from bamboo and a sugarcane byproduct. These towels are highly absorbent and come in a variety of sizes to fit any need.

For those who want a reusable option, Marley’s Monsters offers 100% cotton cloths that are designed to be used again and again. These cloths are made in the U.S and shipped in plastic-free packaging. They are highly absorbent and durable, making them a great option for cleaning up spills.

Overall, there are several eco-friendly options available for those who want to make conscious choices when it comes to their paper products.

Why Choose Eco-Friendly Paper Towels?

When it comes to choosing paper towels, opting for eco-friendly options can have a significant impact on the environment. Traditional paper towels are made from virgin tree material, contributing to deforestation and biodiversity loss. In contrast, eco-friendly paper towels made from sustainable materials such as bamboo or recycled materials can help to reduce the carbon footprint.

Not only are eco-friendly paper towels better for the environment, but they are also compostable and biodegradable. However, it is essential to choose unbleached paper towels to avoid contaminating the compost with chemicals.

Recycled paper towels are the most eco-friendly option as far as disposables go. By giving old materials a new life or repurposing industry byproducts that would otherwise be discarded, recycled paper towels help to reduce waste. However, the recycling process still involves energy, water, and chemicals, making reusable products the most sustainable choice.

Choosing eco-friendly paper towels can help to reduce the impact of single-use products on the environment. By opting for sustainable materials and compostable options, individuals can contribute to the sustainability of the planet and reduce their carbon footprint.

How We Chose The Best Sustainable Paper Towels

When it comes to choosing the best sustainable paper towels, there are a few key factors to consider. In this section, we’ll break down the criteria we used to evaluate different options.


The materials used in paper towels are a crucial factor in determining their sustainability. Ideally, paper towels should be made from natural, compostable materials that can be easily broken down in a landfill. Recycled paper towels are a good option for those who want a disposable product that is also eco-friendly. Look for towels made from post-consumer recycled paper, and ensure that the recycled material is Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified to avoid greenwashing claims.

For those who prefer reusable options, Swedish dishcloths are a popular choice. These cloths are made from natural fibers and can be washed and reused multiple times. Another option is to make your own DIY rags from old clothes, which is a great way to repurpose items that might otherwise end up in a landfill.

Carbon Commitments & Green Practices

Brands that are committed to reducing their carbon footprint and implementing sustainable practices are another important consideration. Look for companies that source local materials, use renewable energy, and implement carbon offset programs to offset unavoidable emissions. Additionally, paper towel packaging should be compostable and plastic-free to minimize waste.


Certifications like the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), and EU Ecolabel can help consumers identify products that meet specific environmental standards. Look for paper towels that are certified by these organizations to ensure that they meet rigorous sustainability criteria.

Community & Charitable Giving

Brands that give back to their communities and support environmental causes can also be a good choice for those looking for sustainable paper towels. Some companies donate a portion of their profits to charity partners, while others use their business as a platform for environmental education.

Final Thoughts on Paper Towels That Are Recycled & Sustainable

In conclusion, there are many options available for those who want to use sustainable paper towels. Whether you prefer disposable towels made from recycled materials or reusable options like Swedish dishcloths, there are products that can meet your needs and help reduce your carbon footprint. When evaluating different options, consider factors like materials, carbon commitments, certifications, and charitable giving to make an informed decision. By choosing sustainable paper towels, you can help protect the environment and reduce waste.