Paper Towels; A True Make it or Break it Case

Stephanie Dunford and Caragh Coughlin, Journalists

During our freshman year of high school, neither of us thought twice about having paper towels at our luxury in each bathroom. Not only did we not think twice about having paper towels, but we ultimately took them for granted. Little did we know, the paper towels in our bathrooms would further be removed for parts of our junior and senior year. This may seem like an ignorant complaint on our end, but to the students of the Ipswich High School, this is a make it or break it situation. 

With the janitors taking away the paper towels, they replaced them by installing automatic hand dryers. All hand dryers in general, not just the ones specifically at our school, are proven to carry a lot of bacteria. The Harvard Health blog further proves this claim by stating that “Hot-air hand dryers in public restrooms might be sucking up bacteria from the air, and dumping them on the newly washed hands of unsuspecting patrons.” With our research we have found that paper towels are much more sanitary automatic hand dryers, and with COVID-19 still somewhat happening it would be a good decision to add the paper towels back into the bathrooms for sanitary reasons. Automatic hand dryers are considered “bacteria bombs.” Although paper towels are clearly the more sanitary option, hand dryers are much more budget friendly. Hand dryers cost .02 cents and .18 cents in electricity every use, while paper towels usually cost about one cent per sheet. 

We spoke with Damian, who is one of the janitors at our high school,  and he offered us some very intriguing information. We first started off the interview by asking him if taking away the paper towels had anything to do with Covid-19, which was the main topic in which we were curious about. Damian then went on to state, “Now that Covid-19 has calmed way down for the most part, the decision was made to remove the paper towel dispensers and re-engage the hot air hand dryers.” However, Damian’s response didn’t satisfy our wants or needs. During our freshman year, Covid-19 did not exist but interestingly, we were still provided with paper towels in each bathroom. Our question at the moment, is why can’t we have the paper towels back, now that Covid-19 has died down? What is the true reasoning behind all of this?