Work by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and backed by technology company Dyson, found paper towels and standard warm air dryers were the two ‘worst performing type of hand drying system’ in terms of environmental impact.

The study, which can be viewed here, ranks recycled and standard paper towel as the worst way to dry your hands and face.

This is because for paper towels the majority of the impact comes from the production.

While packaging, dispensers, waste bins and bin liners account for less than 10% of the environmental impact of the product.

The problem with traditional warm air dryers (pictured) is that the majority of the impact comes from use with the longer dry time and higher rated power of the machine hitting its sustainability.

A small part of the impact of the standard warm air dryer also comes from motor spin-down time which uses energy.

Perhaps, slightly unsurprisingly, the study clearly concludes the Dyson Airblade hand dryer has the lowest environmental impact compared with all other possible hand drying systems – collectively scoring the lowest across all possible measures.

Luke Walsh

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