We all know towels are reusable and can be washed and reused multiple times before they need to be replaced. We’re even aware that, in general, using towels can be an environmentally friendly choice, if towels are used and maintained in a way that reduces their environmental impact.
But have you considered the cost? Not just the cost of purchasing the towels but the ongoing cost of using and maintaining the towels? We have.
The costs associated with laundering towels can vary depending on several factors, including:
Size and weight of towels: Larger and heavier towels will require more water and detergent to clean, which will increase the cost of laundering.
Frequency of washing: The more frequently towels are washed, the higher the cost will be. This is because each wash cycle requires labour, energy, water and chemicals.
Type of chemicals used: Some chemicals are more expensive than others, and the cost will vary depending on the brand and type of detergent used.
Water and energy costs: The cost of water and energy required to wash and dry towels will depend on the local rates and the efficiency of the washing machine and dryer.
Admittedly, there are ways to reduce these costs, such as washing towels in cold water, using a high-efficiency washing machine and dryer, and air-drying towels instead of using the dryer (although this will increase labour), but the fact remains that choosing to use towels means incurring ongoing costs.
In the table below you’ll see that we’ve broken down these running costs for a batch of 30 towels — noting that this table does not include one-off purchases, such as a washing machine and dryer, or machine servicing costs, or costs for replacing towels once they’ve passed their use by date.
Convenience: More convenient to use than reusable products because they do not require washing or maintenance, making them ideal for on-the-go use or situations where time is limited.
Hygiene: Single-use products can provide a hygienic solution, especially in healthcare settings where preventing the spread of germs is critical.
Cost-effective: Single-use products can be more cost-effective than reusable products because they eliminate the need for cleaning and maintenance.
Reduced waste: In some cases, single-use products can actually reduce waste compared to reusable products, especially if the latter require significant amounts of water or energy to clean.
Recyclable: Recycling single-use items can help create a closed loop system in which materials are reused instead of being disposed of after a single use. This can create economic opportunities and reduce the need for new materials to be extracted and processed.
Time: Time is a crucial factor for any business because they need to be efficient and productive to succeed. Effective time management can help improve customer service, increase revenue and reduce costs.
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