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Eco Friendly Paper Towels: 12 Plastic-Free kitchen rolls

We searched the web for paper towels without plastic packaging. We also looked for brands that are made of recyclable material or bamboo, or simply have an eco-friendly approach.


Our favorite eco friendly paper towels from the list below are Who Gives A Crap plastic free paper towels. They’re entirely plastic-free, made of bamboo, and each year 50% of all profits are donated to a sustainable cause.

Disclaimer: We only recommend products we truly believe in and we might earn a commission for purchases made through links in this post.

 Top 5 Eco Friendly Paper Towels

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List Of Eco Friendly Paper Towels

Below I listed the eco friendly paper towel options I could find online. If you know of other products that should be on this list, please let me know below in the comment section and I will consider adding them.

Personally, I recommend getting a reusable paper towel as a complimentary products to regular paper towels and keeping them close to each other in the kitchen. You could view some options in our article about reusable paper towels alternatives.

1. Whogivesacrap – Bamboo Plastic Free Paper Towels 

100% plastic-free, tree-friendly

  • 50% Of all profits go to improving the sanitary in developing countries (Read more)
  • A blend of bamboo and sugarcane
  • Biodegradable 
  • No inks, chemicals, or fragrances used

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Whogivesacrap bamboo paper towels are as eco-friendly as it gets. They offer 100% plastic-free sustainable paper towels, individually wrapped in a paper wrap and delivered inside a cardboard box.

The 2-ply paper towels are made of bamboo and sugarcane (materials much more sustainable than wood pulp) to which they add no inks, dyes, or scents.

eco friendly paper towels

The people behind Whogivesacrap also have a very inspiring ideology behind what they do. They help communities in need.

Every year, the company will donate up to 50% of its profits to help build toilets in deprived areas. In 2020 alone the company donated 4-million US dollars. Pretty amazing right? Read more about it here.

Customers say: People love these kitchen rolls for their eco-friendliness and for how much they can absorb! The rolls are 9″X9″ and some reviewers found it to be a bit short. Moreover, each roll has 120 sheets, and some commenters think that more sheets per roll would have been better.

2. Reel Bamboo Zero Waste plastic free paper towels

Plastic-free bamboo paper towels.

  • Made with 100% bamboo 
  • Includes 12 rolls with 150 sheets per box
  • Highly absorbent 2-ply sheets 
  • Plastic- and BPA-free 
  • Fragrance- and chlorine-free

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Reel Paper Bamboo Paper Towels are an excellent choice for those looking for a more traditional paper towel experience. These zero waste paper towels look and feel like the ones we’re all used to, but without the negative environmental impact. 

eco friendly paper towels

The Reel company produces these plastic-free paper towels in an environmentally, ethically, and socially responsible way without using trees. These 100% bamboo paper towels are biodegradable and sustainably grown.  Even the wrap these paper towels come in use recycled paper.

Customers say:

Customers loved that Reel Paper uses responsible production methods to create this high-quality product. There are no negative reviews listed.

3. Cloud Paper Bamboo Plastic Free Paper Towels

Eco-sized compostable bamboo paper towels.

  • Includes 12 paper towel rolls 
  • Made with sustainable bamboo 
  • 100% plastic-free paper towels 
  • Recyclable and compostable 
  • Eco-friendly size

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Cloud Paper is a bamboo-based paper towel product that is good for your home and the environment. Everything about this product is sustainable, so these are zero-waste paper towels that you can feel good using.  

eco friendly paper towels

Each sheet has the perfect dimensions for wiping up spills while eliminating excess waste. The company not only balances carbon emissions, but they offset twice the amount. 

These paper towel rolls by Cloud paper do not contain any bleach, chlorine, BPA, or any added scents, pesticides, or dyes.

Customers say:

Customers loved that this product is an excellent alternative to traditional paper towels and is very strong. Critiques are that it is a bit thin and does not tear well off the roll.

4. Who Gives a Crap’s Dream Cloths

A reusable and washable paper towel alternative.

  • Doubles as a sponge
  • Reusable and washable 
  • Biodegradable and compostable 
  • Quick-drying and extremely absorbent
  • Machine washable and dishwasher safe

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If you’re willing to consider a reusable alternative to paper towels here is one amazing option:

Who Gives a Crap’s Dream Cloths are a dream to use, as its name implies. We love that this product is much stronger and more absorbent than a traditional paper towel but doesn’t hurt the planet. One of these towels can hold a whopping 13x its weight in water!

eco friendly paper towels

 

Who Gives a Crap’s Dream Cloths is an entirely plastic-free paper towel alternative that dries quickly, so you don’t have to worry about icky smells. The best part is that you can throw it into the wash or dishwasher!

Customers say:

Most people loved this product because of how absorbent it is and how easy it is to clean. A few people didn’t love them because of their price and small size.

5. Cheeky Panda Eco Friendly Paper Towels

Strong and absorbent eco-friendly paper towels.

  • Uses sustainable bamboo
  • 100% plastic-free (both product and packaging)
  • 2-ply for extra absorption 
  • Chemical-free all-natural formula

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These plastic-free bamboo paper towels from Cheeky Panda feel like the ones everyone is used to, without the negative impact. This company’s bamboo comes from FSC Certified forests and has 65% fewer carbon emissions than trees. 

While bamboo does emit some carbon, the company works with The World Land Trust to offset this.

The Cheeky Panda company also has an initiative called Earth, Ocean & People that supports sustainability efforts. Everything from the packaging to the cardboard core is 100% recyclable and sustainable.

Customers say:

Reviewers of the Cheeky Panda Bamboo Paper Towel product said that the rolls were high-quality. However, the product is shorter than standard, so it doesn’t fit traditional paper towel holders.

6. Anjia Original Reusable Bamboo Plastic Free Paper Towels

Zero-waste reusable paper towel alternative.

  • Each sheet can be reused and washed up to 85 times
  • Soft enough to be used on most surfaces
  • Made from 100% organic bamboo rayon
  • Includes a free mesh laundry bag
  • Replaces six months of paper towel usage

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At first glance, these Anjia zero waste paper towels look like a traditional roll. However, every sheet in its roll is reusable up to 85 times. That means that you don’t need to keep reordering over and over again. 

These versatile towels are extra soft and lint-free, making them suitable to use on delicate surfaces like camera lenses and computer screens. This product uses 100% organic bamboo rayon as its only ingredient, so it is an entirely plastic-free paper towel alternative.

Customers say:

This product’s highlights are that it is very versatile and can replace sponges and rags. Some people say that they aren’t as effective as a standard paper towel after washing. 

7. Ecolifestyle Bamboo Reusable Plastic free Paper Towels

Zero waste reusable “unpaper” towel.

  • Includes two rolls with 40 sheets each
  • Each sheet is reusable from 80-100 times
  • Suitable for all types of uses
  • Made from sustainable biodegradable and organic bamboo
  • Machine washable

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Ecolifestyle’s Bamboo Reusable Paper Towel is a product that is suitable for cleaning, dusting, and spills. We love that this product has strong fibers that won’t tear apart after regular use and washing. 

When it is time to discard this product, you won’t have to worry about it sitting in a landfill. The bamboo used in this paper towel is biodegradable. 

After washing this product, the product becomes more absorbent and softer, so you don’t have to worry about its effectiveness over time.

Customers say:

People loved that these were much more powerful than a standard paper towel and that they wash easily. One common complaint is that they can shrink after washing and drying. 

8. Bamboora Bamboo Plastic Free Paper Towels

Eco-friendly all-purpose bamboo paper towel.

  • Dries quickly and highly-absorbent
  • Reusable up to 85 times
  • Two-ply sheets made with compostable bamboo
  • Multi-use paper towel
  • Twin Pack

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Bamboora’s Bamboo Paper Towel is a plastic-free paper towel alternative that is great for kitchen, car, and floor use. People even use this product to clean up pet messes and groom their cats and dogs because they are highly odor-resistant. 

These paper towels are extra absorbent because they contain two-ply bamboo fibers. They are wallet-friendly because they can replace up to six months of a traditional paper towel supply. 

This product is easy to wash and reuse again because they air-dry very quickly.

Customers say:

This paper towel alternative product impressed users because it works well, is cost-effective, and great for the planet.  However, the most common complaint is that it sometimes leaves tiny fibers behind.

9. SUPERSCANDI Swedish Washcloths 

  • 30% cotton 70% cellulose
  • 100% Biodegradable
  • All products used are FSC certified forests

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These towels are not made of recycled paper, but if you’re on the market for eco-friendly paper towels alternatives, SUPERSCANDI Swedish Washcloths are definitely an important option to consider.

The clothes are made of 30% cotton and 70% cellulose (from trees). Therefore, the material has a sponge-like absorbency. They are 100% biodegradable and you can reuse them and wash them over and over again.

The company says that you can use each towel for at least 200 times, and it will maintain its quality for up to 8 weeks. Also, these rugs are multipurpose, you can use it for wiping, mopping, and cleaning. Whether you want to mop the floor or wash the dishes, SUPERSCANDI can get it done. 

For more of these reusable paper towels check our full list of sustainable Swedish dishcloths for the kitchen.

Customers say: The majority of reviewers seemed to appreciate that the product comes with a money-back guarantee. So, if you’re not happy, you will be offered a full refund.

10. Bambaw Reusable Eco Friendly Paper Towels

  • Made with 80% bamboo fiber and 20% polyester
  • Wipes are machine washable
  • Each sheet can last up to 100 washes

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Bambaw bamboo paper towels are reusable, so you can get the more for your budget. A single sheet will replace more than 50 conventional paper towels. Furthermore, the material is thick, so it can absorb large spills with ease. You can use these paper towels on a range of surfaces such as ceramic, steel, wood, and glass.

The softness, antibacterial, and hypoallergenic features of Bambaw will convince you bamboo paper towels are better than recycled wood pulp paper towels.

Customers say: Whether you want to use them for cleaning or maintenance, they are a great choice. On the other hand, watch out as some customers say that the lint can get caught in nails or imperfections on surfaces. 

11. If You Care Natural Cloths 

  • Machine washable up to 300 times
  • Made with 100% renewable resources
  • Compostable packaging certified by the Biodegradable Products Institute
  • Cloths made from 70% Cellulose and 30% unbleached non-GMO cotton

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Due to the high-absorbency strength of If You Care natural cloths, they can replace numerous paper towels sheets. It will absorb more than 20 times its weight. 

Although it has a funky color, the material is unbleached cotton. Also, the packaging is compostable (It’s made from corn starch). This product is suitable for those that want to remove plastic from their lifestyle as these are reusable plastic-free towels. If you take into consideration the care instructions, one cloth will last for up to 300 washes. 

Customers say: The material will absorb large spills without detreating gradually. Additionally, they are easy to clean. 

12. Ecosophy Bamboo Reusable Plastic Free Paper Towels

  • Machine washable material
  • Plastic-free packaging
  • Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) Certification

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Ecosophy paper towels are not made of recycled paper, they’re made of Bamboo. I discuss this topic extensively in the guide I wrote about eco-friendly toilet paper. But you should know that disposable bamboo products are more eco-friendly than disposable products made of tree-pulp, even when it’s recycled tree-pulp.

Bamboo eco-friendliness has a lot to do with how fast it grows and regenerates and its material qualities that are more suitable for paper products than wood. Therefore they need to go through less process to become paper.

If you’re whiling to try something new, Ecosophy bamboo paper towels are a great choice. These towels are reusable you can use them up to 2000 times and re-wash them up to 150 times. These eco-friendly bamboo towels will save you money and space in your waste bin.

Customers say: Many appreciate the fact that these are compostable bamboo paper towels. And that a roll can last up to 1 year. Furthermore, the material dries quickly, so you don’t need to put it in the dryer. 

Reusable paper towels Vs. recycled paper towels

If you read one of my guides before, you must already know how I choose eco-friendly products to recommend. I tend to prefer reusable products over recycled products. And this applies also to paper towels.

eco friendly paper towels

With the US being the biggest consumer of paper towels worldwide (by far) I believe there’s a big opportunity for change. Moving from virgin wood pulp paper towels to recycled paper towels is a good start. But using a reusable paper towel is way more sustainable.

eco friendly paper towels

Reusable paper towels made of bamboo, cellulose, or cotton save so much garbage and manufacturing energy and water that it’s just amazing. Some bamboo paper towels can be reused up to 200 times! On the other hand, when you’re using a recycled paper towel you only use it once, and it has to go to the trash bin or flushed down the toilet. It can’t even be recycled.

You don’t have to give up on paper towels altogether. In fact, you can have both types in your home (recycled+reusable), and whenever you can try to use the reusable one. Minimize your use of disposable paper towels to the minimum.

zero waste sustainable plastic free paper towels

Eco Friendly Paper Towels Alternatives

Paper towels are useful products, and you find them in most houses for a reason. But we can’t ignore the fact they are very wasteful. They can’t be used more than once and once they’re wet they also can’t be recycled.

For those reasons, when someone asks me what is the greenest way to use paper towels – I tell them that there are a few eco-friendly paper towels alternatives to consider.

zero waste sustainable plastic free paper towels

First, consider using reusable towels like nano towels or other similar kitchen rugs. They’re reusable, durable and can help you cut down on toxic cleaning appliances. If that doesn’t cover it use bamboo paper towels. These towels are not fully reusable but you can wash them and then reuse each towel a few good times. Moreover, the bamboo paper is way more eco-friendly than wood-pulp paper.

If for some reason, in addition to these two options, you need one-time disposable paper towels in your kitchen, recycled paper towels are the most eco-friendly choice.

Benefits of recycled Eco Friendly Paper Towels

According to research done by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2017 on the generation and disposition of municipal solid waste, it turns out 67 million tons of paper waste was generated in the U.S alone. Paper products are around ~25% of all household trash. U.S is the biggest consumer of paper towels in the entire world. Is there a place for a change? Yes.

zero waste sustainable plastic free paper towels

Recycled environmentally friendly paper towels – If we recycle paper waste, instead of cutting down more trees, we earn twice. Once because our landfills will be thinner and our environment cleaner. Secondly, we cut down fewer trees and forests that we crucially need.

What eco friendly paper towels to choose?

Zero-waste plastic free paper towels:

If like me you’re trying to reduce waste wherever possible there’s no reason not to go with a zero waste paper towel. One great example is Who Gives A Crap bamboo paper towels. They’re entirely plastic-free, individually packed in paper and shipped in a plastic free recyclable cardboard box.

recycled plastic free paper towels

Recycled paper towels:

Recycled paper towels get the job done! For cleaning and soaking, they’re just as good as a virgin wood-pulp disposable paper towel. The only difference is that recycled paper towels are made of used-paper that went through a recycling process (By an end consumer or by the industry). Recycled kitchen rolls a great sustainable alternative to paper towels. For example: Tork perforated kitchen roll towels and Seventh Generation unbleached paper towels.

Bamboo Paper Towels:

If you haven’t tried them already, give a chance to bamboo paper towels. Bamboo is regarded as a much more sustainable crop than trees.

One type of paper towel is disposable just like regular tree pulp paper towels. For example Cloud Paper, Reel Paper, and Whogivesacrap.

There’s another type of paper towels that are reusable (not disposable) and you can use them over and over, and even wash them. For Example Anjia, Ecolifestyle, and Bamboora.

These towels come in plastic-free packaging and you can reuse them and rewash them more than 100 times.

environment friendly plastic free paper towels

Paper Towels For Big families:

If you’re more than 3 people in the family, or you have kids or pets that tend to cause a big mess, you should consider getting Tork perforated kitchen roll towels.

These 100% recycled paper towels come in a case of 12 Rolls (210 towels per roll) and the rolls are jumbo size. With this amount you won’t run out of paper towels so fast. Moreover, this is a 2-ply paper towel so whenever a sticky liquid finds it’s way to the countertop, these kitchen rolls are what you want in handy.

environment friendly plastic free paper towels

Reusable paper towels:

If you don’t already have a reusable towel at home, I suggest you keep one near your paper towels and use it whenever possible. Who Gives a Crap’s Dream Cloths are a great alternative for paper towels.

If you use them for at least some of the tasks you usually use paper for – you will actually save money and waste.

These towels are made of trees cellulose and cotton, they are durable and reusable and you can rewash them. Additionally, they are packed in a sustainable plastic-free way.

Unbleached Paper Towels:

If you don’t mind the color of your paper towels and also wish to reduce chemicals at your home, consider getting Seventh Generation unbleached paper towels.

These towels are 100% recycled (80% post-consumer recycled). Other towels on the list also don’t use chlorine for bleach but they use other chemicals. These paper towels don’t go through bleaching at all.

reusable plastic free paper towels

My Favorite Eco Friendly Paper Towels

Kitchen rolls are an extremely useful product most of us use on a daily basis. It’s one of those things we most make a sustainable choice about.

My favorite eco friendly paper towels from the list are the who gives a crap bamboo paper towels.

Not only they’re 100% plastic-free, tree-friendly, and fun to use – 50% of all profits are used to improve sanitary in developing countries.

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