Although paper towels are made from paper they are not accepted in mixed paper recycling streams and cannot therefore be recycled into new paper products.
By far the best option for the environment is to switch to using reusable dish cloths and cleaning cloths that can be placed in the washing machine and reused over and over again. This switch will cut down or even eliminate the use of paper towels in your home, helping to save trees from being cut down and reducing the amount of plastic packaging waste you discard in the trash.
Although paper towels cannot be added to recycling collection boxes, you can still recycle used paper towels at home. Paper towels can be added to your composter or wormery and used to make nutrient rich soil for your garden or houseplants. For more information on composting or making your own wormery, see our organic waste webpage.