• Small Sustainable Swaps

Kitchen roll

Updated: Aug 5, 2020

Kitchen roll is an incredibly useful resource in the kitchen, great for cleaning quick messes (particularly those created by children!) Like toilet roll though it normally comes in plastic wrapping so I began searching for an alternative.


When I discovered ‘Who Gives A Crap’ (WGAC) and ‘The Cheeky Panda’ for toilet roll I found they also offered an alternative for kitchen roll. These are just a couple of the companies now offering plastic-free alternatives to traditional kitchen roll. WGAC offers kitchen roll made from a blend of bamboo and sugarcane individually wrapped in paper. The Cheeky Panda offers bamboo kitchen roll without any individual packaging. We have used both of these are we were very happy with their quality. I preferred The Cheeky Panda kitchen roll as it didn’t come in individual wrappers like WGAC which comes in individual paper wrappers.


Bamboo is considered a more sustainable option. It can help prevent soil erosion and help to improve soil quality. Also, it grows at a much quicker rate and converts carbon dioxide at a higher rate than traditional hardwood.

However, some people may be looking for an alternative that is reusable to reduce their waste further. This is something I am currently considering trying out. Initially this alternative may cost more to invest in however there is not the same ongoing cost involved as there is with continually having to buy disposable kitchen roll.


Reusable kitchen roll can take different forms. In its simplest form you can use a basket/drawer/tub of cloths. This could be specially bought cloths or cut up old cloth (such as old muslin or t-shirts). If you are skilled on a sewing machine you could even tidy up the edges by hemming or stitching them, this may help them last longer but is not strictly necessary for them to function. It may be useful to have a place to put them after you have used them before they are washed. This type of kitchen roll can be used in the same way as disposable kitchen roll except instead of throwing them away you wash and reuse them. These can then be washed with the rest of your washing so no need for a special load.


If you are after something a little more like kitchen roll you can buy (or make – there are lots of tutorials available online) something that looks more like kitchen roll and can even go on your kitchen roll dispenser, sometimes called Unpaper roll. These can come in a variety of patterns so you can have something that fits with your kitchen style. Some of them will have sheets that stick together using poppers others will just be rolled around each other. Again, these can just be washed with your normal washing. There are many online companies that sell this type of kitchen roll. Some examples I have come across are from Plastic Freedom, Eco Coach House and Ediebees. Due to the handmade element of this product the initial price may be a little high but as I said earlier you will not need to continually be buying the product.


While looking into Unpaper roll, I found another alternative from Ecoegg – Bamboo Towels. This is reusable sheets made from 90% bamboo and 10% PLA from corn starch therefore it is 100% plastic free. Each sheet can be used up to 85 times (giving a total of 1700 uses from the roll) and washed at 40 degrees. These can’t be put back on the roll after first use but can be stored in a tub or drawer ready for the next use. Once it becomes unusable Ecoegg suggests disposing of the towels with your household waste. It comes wrapped in a paper and looks like disposable kitchen roll. This is available from Ecoegg for £7.99 so a reasonable price for a reusable product. This could be a great alternative to disposable kitchen roll.


It would be great to hear if you have tried any of these options and what you think.

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