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PAPER TOWEL DISPENSER: a challenging fit for your facility

Updated: May 30, 2022

​​Commonly seen as a usual item of the routine, a paper towel dispenser can be either a great ally or a considerable villain when a manager tries to rationalize supplies usage. The type of paper dispenser that is chosen to be placed at the facility can mean a significant economy on a budget of paper goods and a meaningful gesture towards the environment.  

​​The market currently offers three major possibilities of dispensers to be set in restrooms, breakrooms, or cafeterias. Those are:

1. Folded paper towel dispenser: acknowledging it is a much easier way to grab paper, users commonly find this storage option as customer-oriented since they barely make efforts to take as many paper towels as they want. For the same reason, people don't usually think through and grab exactly the right amount of paper they actually need. That creates a whole chain of waste and disrespect towards the environment. Besides that, unlimited usage of supplies means increased expenses and also higher men hours to keep filling the dispensers many times a day. When put in perspective, it is easy to conclude that user comfort can be put aside and make room for continuous environment-focused management. 

​​2. Automatic paper towel dispenser: a motion-triggered paper towel dispenser is, of course, a solid option to be considered. It can provide a professional touch to your facility, bringing elements that the other two options can't match. However, choosing the automatic paper towel as a pattern to be set in all of the buildings can also bring extra men hours to its maintenance. Comparing to the folded paper alternative, this one means an improvement in wasting matter, but it is still not the most ecological choice. Due to its ease in obtaining the product, the automatic dispenser allows a similar possibility as the folded paper towel dispenser. It is easy to grab more than necessary to dry hands. That leads to the frequent necessity of refreshing the stocks, which is done by an employee. Also, it is hard to keep track of the demand to change the batteries of all dispensers, which in the longterm means that eventually, the automatic function of the dispenser might be abandoned, removing its main feature. 

3. Manual paper towel dispenser: probably the most recommendable choice, the manual paper towel dispenser can still bring a classy look to your facility, but with some extra qualities that the others lack. It is definitely the most eco-friendly option because it can easily accomplish its desired function, and also disengages customers from wasting paper goods. It does not work with batteries, so the only maintenance required is to refresh the paper itself. Keep in mind that the fact that it is environment-friendly also means a great fit for your budget, since it does not require the same men hours to its maintenance, and it reduces the usage of papers. 

​​Evidently, all options have their own strong features and their downsides. As a facility manager, you may face a moment when you must make such a choice that affects the whole building and the routine of many people. When that happens, keep in mind all the information that was brought and, with a clear mind, make the most fittable choice based on the principles that lead your facility. 


​​Andre Carvalho, Chief of Operations


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