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The great bathroom debate: paper towel or hand dryer?

January 5, 2016

The great bathroom debate: paper towel or hand dryer?

By Simon Lockrey
Tuesday 5 January 2016

It’s the age-old question that continues to baffle many of us in the bathroom: when you come to drying your hands, should you reach for the paper towel, or the electric dryer?

For some, this decision might be related to hygiene, and for others, drying performance. For many, environmental concerns are also an important consideration, no doubt motivated by the fact that our daily activities contribute to the complex web of growing sustainability pressures facing the planet.

So how might we decide which of the two most common methods of drying our hands — paper towel or an electric dryer - is the most effective, and environmentally friendly, without resorting to the convenient wipe on the trousers?

Life cycle analysis is a method long used to identify life cycle environmental impacts of products and services, including materials, manufacturing, transport, use, and end of life (e.g. disposal).

Using this analysis, we can search out “hot spots” - those parts of the life cycle which have higher impacts - to identify the most important aspects for our analysis.

Read more at Eco-Business.

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