As we learned in a previous recycling blog, “the grade of paper is determined by fiber length, which shortens after each trip through the recycling process. After being recycled five to seven times, the fibers become too short to make new paper and will need to be mixed with new, un-recycled fibers.”
Napkins and paper towels are easily made from very small, shorter fibers. In fact, they are one of, if not the last, item made from recycled paper before it can’t be recycled again.
Items that are prime for recycling are also generally required to be free of food residue. Napkins and paper towels, by nature, tend to be full of food residue. If not used to wipe up food, these absorbent, disposable towels are used for all kinds of messes, usually of a sticky, gooey, or liquid nature.
Since food, grease, and other impurities contaminate and impair the integrity of a recycling load, napkins and paper towels aren’t suitable to be considered a recyclable item.
For more information on recyclable items visit www.wasteawaygroup.com.