There is a significant amount of debate regarding the topic of hand dryers versus paper towels, but there’s also a clear winner in those arguments. Hand dryers definitely present a more eco-friendly, cost-effective and healthier option than paper towels. If you are not yet sure why these are truly facts beyond argument, or you are only double checking before installing hand dryers in your own establishment, check through the following points.
Some of the best hand dryers from companies like BlowMotion can be bought for anything between £100 to £200, and it’s just a onetime investment. These highly energy-efficient, sanitising hand dryers can completely dry hands between 10 to 15 seconds or less, depending on the model you choose. The most important consideration here is that a single hand dryer replaces paper towels worth about £1000 - £1500 per year on an average. Even after calculating the energy consumption costs, the savings made here on every machine are just not something that any commercial/educational establishment can ignore anymore. The bigger the facility, the more cost-effective every hand dryer becomes in each washroom.
Modern hand dryers come with inbuilt energy saving technology, which minimises the power consumed. They are completely different machines compared to first and second generations of hand dryers. The old machines used to take a lot of time to do the job, and consumed a lot more energy in the process as well. If you have any old hand dryers in your washroom already, you will be able to clamp down on the electricity bills by replacing them with the latest models.
When pitted in direct contrast with paper towels though, the following advantages make the new generation of hand dryers a far greener and superior choice:
- Paper towels are made from paper and paper comes from cutting down trees
- Tree firms alone cannot possibly supply all of the nation’s timber and paper needs, as trees take years to grow
- A direct pressure on the natural forests is unavoidable as a result of that
- To cut down trees that take years to grow, only to produce something that people use only once is wasteful
- Loss of forested land leads to land erosion and formation of desert pockets
- Loss of forested land and the local fauna are directly proportional
- Paper towels are biodegradable, but they still produce a lot of solid waste every year
- The more paper towels there are, the more power is consumed in recycling them when possible
- A single hand dryer lasts years, if not decades, reducing the growing need for plastic disposal methods
- There are metallic hand dryers available now which can be 100% recycled
- Paper towels carry environmental and human health hazards as waste
As you can probably notice by now, paper towels have no place in a green building.
The sanitisation offered by hand dryers against bacterial infections is at 99.9% now. Even viruses and other microbes which cannot be killed by a hand dryer will be blown down by the air pressure, making it the perfect and most cost-effective hand sanitiser that there is. Once again, if we compare this to paper towels, the future does not look good for the classic option. Paper towels cannot provide sanitation of any kind, but instead, they often harbour bacterial and viral infections in them for obvious reasons.
A waste basket full of used paper towels is a waste basket full of germs. Every time someone touches a pack or a roll, the germs from their skin are left on the rolls/packs in small amounts. If the janitorial duties are not maintained for even one day in a busy washroom, those overflowing paper baskets will create a problem in no time at all. Bad odours are also quite common when the used paper towels begin to pile up. Hand dryers do not require such regular maintenance and the absence of washroom management has little to no impact on the device’s performance.
Paper towels create hazardous waste, while hand dryers do not create any waste at all. They do consume electricity of course, but no smoke is emitted, and no residual materials are produced, post drying people’s hands. This is in direct contrast with the point discussed before; paper towels harbour germs post usage and create a solid waste management problem.
It’s true that a huge industry depends on the manufacturing, supplying and retailing of paper towels, toilet papers and the like, which is the main reason why they must continue to be in business for some time to come. However, if you are looking for the most cost-effective, safest, most hygienic and greenest option between the two, the modern generation of hand dryers are better in almost every possible way.