Are Paper Towels Compostable? What Things are not Compostable?

2024-03-22 Updated by Shawn

Composting can increase soil fertility and reduce the pressure on kitchen waste. Waste paper can be used as one of the raw materials for compost, but not all waste paper is suitable for use as compost. Do you know are paper towels compostable, what things can be compostable and what things can not be compostable. Today let's explore it.

are paper towels compostable

Are all paper towels compostable?

Yes. All paper towels can be composted except the towels that cleaned up toxic materials messes or viruses. They can compost well and break down quickly. And composting paper towels can create nutrient-rich soil. So please put these paper towels in the compost bin.

Paper towels are similar to any other paper product when it comes to composting. If you have paper towels, they are perfectly safe for composting, and are a nitrogen-rich organic material that is much better off in a composting bin than filling up a landfill. As with most compostable items, shredding, cutting, or tearing your paper towels into small pieces will help accelerate the decomposition process.

What are paper towels?

A paper towel is an absorbent, disposable towel made from paper. In Britain, paper towels for kitchen use are also known as kitchen rolls, kitchen paper, or kitchen towels. They have similar purposes to conventional towels, such as drying hands, wiping windows and other surfaces, dusting, and cleaning up spills. That's the definition of paper towel.

Customized Z Fold Paper Hand Towels 1 Ply

Customized Z Fold Paper Hand Towels 1 Ply

How paper towels are made?

To better understand how paper towels decompose, let's look at how they're made. Paper towels are typically made from water and wood pulp or bamboo pulp. Because the fibers of these materials are fine, making them suitable for making paper products.

The production of kitchen paper is a complex process. Firstly, raw materials such as wood pulp or bamboo pulp need to be soaked, steamed, and bleached to produce pulp. Then, the pulp is processed by a paper machine to produce different types of paper, such as edge paper or removable tissue paper. Finally, the produced paper is processed through cutting, folding, and other processing techniques to become disposable kitchen paper.

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Can you put paper towels in the compost bin?

Yes, of course. However, they should be shredded or torn into small pieces to help them decompose faster.

Are paper towels recyclable?

No. Paper towels are not recyclable. The recyclable paper towels don't have a good enough quality.

Are paper towels biodegradable?

Yes, of course. Paper towels are made from wood pulp or bamboo pulp, a natural and biodegradable material.

Are Paper Towels Flushable?

Generally, you can't flush paper towels down toilet. Paper contains two types: short fiber and long fiber. Short fibers are more easily dissolved by water, while long fibers are less likely to decompose. Paper towel contains a lot of long fibers added. So paper towel generally cannot dissolve or shrink in water like other tissues, it is easy to get stuck in the sink bend of the toilet, causing toilet blockage. So it's best to throw these paper towels directly into the trash can. To learn more about it, click here.

What things are compostable?

What things are compostable?

  • Picking the remaining parts of raw vegetables.

  • Banana peel, apple peel, orange peel, watermelon peel, etc.

  • Fruits that are no longer edible.

  • Leftover food.

  • Expired cans, milk powder, beer.

  • The shells of nuts such as peanuts, melon seeds, pistachios and egg shell.

  • Fallen leaves, flowers, plants, and trees are pruned to remove dead branches and leaves.

  • Fish, meat bones, crab shells, shrimp shells, etc.

  • Toilet paper, napkins, paper box.

What things are not compostable?

  • Food with high salt content. Because salt in the soil can cause soil salinization, which is detrimental to plant growth.

  • Dead flowers, leaves, etc. These flowers, plants, or leaves may have pathogenic bacteria or insect eggs, which can bring endless troubles to subsequent flower cultivation.

  • Large area printed paper. Overprinted paper contains a large amount of ink, high lead content, and excessive heavy metals, which are not conducive to plant growth.

  • Items such as glass and plastic that cannot be naturally decomposed. Plastic is difficult to decompose and can produce harmful chemicals to human health at high temperatures. Glass mixed in soil, be careful not to prick your hands.

  • Roots or seeds of weeds. Especially some weeds with strong vitality, if they are brought to the flower pot, they cannot be completely removed and will compete for nutrients from the flowers.


Are white paper towels compostable?

Yes, of course. White paper towels are compostable.

Are paper plates compostable?

Paper plates that do not have a plastic coating on top can be composted. The packaging will usually state whether or not the plates are suitable for the compost pile or if they have a plastic coating.

Are paper napkins compostable?

Paper napkins are typically made from wood pulp and can be composted even if they are wet or stained with food, vegetable oil, or grease.

Written by Shawn
Hi, this is Shawn from Softer Paper Co,. Ltd. We started this blog to record the knowledge we know along the way and help other people to get the useful information. And if you want to purchase toilet paper in bulk, feel free to contact us.
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