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Here at GreenChoice NZ, we offer stylish, environmentally responsible unbleached natural kraft napkins. They’re great for hospitality and food service uses, including in hotels, restaurants, cafes, takeaways and much more.
They are made using natural, plant-based ink, come in 300 x 300mm sizes with single ply paper and a quarter fold. Our napkins will biodegrade into plant based matter under the right conditions in a landfill and are compostable in a commercial composting centre.
Paper napkins are a source of carbon. When composted in a commercial composting facility, this carbon is required to filter air through the compost. Paper serviettes like the ones available here at GreenChoice NZ are entirely plant-based and fully biodegradable.
Our paper napkins use fully recycled paper, which means that you’re already making a more sustainable choice simply by choosing them.
While paper napkins stained with food-based debris can’t be recycled, they are compostable and biodegradable and will only leave behind natural plant matter. That’s why they’re an appealing, sustainable, environmentally friendly choice compared to bleached paper napkins. If you would like to make a difference to the environment, using our sustainable GreenChoice NZ paper napkins is a great step to take.
Our wooden cutlery sets each feature a knife and fork made entirely from natural Birchwood, a hardy, durable, biodegradable alternative to petroleum-based plastics. They also come with a napkin made of 2 ply, food-grade based paper. That makes each wooden cutlery set an excellent, eco-friendly accompaniment to catering and meals.
It might seem like reusable cotton napkins are inherently better than disposable, single-use paper napkins. But that’s not necessarily the case.
Producing cotton itself is not an environmentally friendly process. Cotton trees require large amounts of water - far more so than what is necessary to create an equivalent paper napkin. In fact, making one cotton napkin can require as much as 500 times the amount of water needed for a paper napkin of the same size!
Cotton production also requires a lot of irrigation, explaining the intense demands for water during the growing process. It also involves heavy pesticide use, which could mean more toxins filtering down to your consumers. The pesticides used in growing cotton often wash into local waterways, polluting them and harming native aquatic life.
In addition, a lot of cotton production takes place in poorer parts of the world where labour laws are absent or poorly enforced. This means that slave and child labour runs rampant in the industry, with devastating human consequences. This association between cotton production and poverty also means that the environmental impacts of cotton growing tend to hit vulnerable communities the hardest - the same communities that lack access to the resources they need to mitigate these harmful effects on their health and communities.
You have to wash and dry cotton napkins to reuse them, which is itself an energy-intensive process. You can’t wash paper napkins, so no water and energy will go to the cleaning process. In contrast, the electricity a washing machine uses to clean a cotton napkin will result in greenhouse gas emissions, which in turn will have multiple detrimental effects on the environment.
Naturally, the washing machine will use water, too - a limited natural resource. If the laundry soap used in the washing is not eco-friendly, once the water in the machine gets drained away into the sea, chemicals in the soap might have toxic effects on marine wildlife.
If the napkins are then dried in a machine, this will lead to further greenhouse gas emissions. Greenhouse gases contribute significantly to climate change by trapping energy from the sun close to the Earth rather than letting it escape into the atmosphere. They may also be contributory factors to air pollution.
As you can see, while you cannot reuse paper napkins, the fact that they are disposable helps you avoid placing further strain on our limited natural resources and environment that comes about as a result of the washing and drying process. When you factor in the environmental cost of growing raw cotton and manufacturing cotton napkins, paper napkins frequently emerge as a better choice.
This is especially true when these napkins are used in a restaurant or cafe. Cloth-based napkins used in restaurants are often washed in industrial washing machines and have bleach added to them so that they keep their crisp, white appearance. The washing process leads to even greater risks of environmental chemical contamination - risks mitigated by using paper napkins instead.
Would you like more information on our paper napkins or other environmentally-friendly food packaging products? Get in touch with the GreenChoice NZ team at 0800 864 725, and we’ll be more than happy to help.