New Life For Used Paper Towels New Life For Used Paper Towels


“This is not toilet paper – it’s actually hand towels”, is printed on the tape around a roll of toilet paper: The use of paper towels generates a lot of waste at Commerzbank every day. This is where a Bank's sustainability project begins. Since 2016, approximately 25 tonnes of paper has been recycled instead of throwing them away (status as of August 2017). Therefore Commerzbank implements a project named “Tork PaperCircle” from Essity, a swedish manufacturer of hygienic paper products. The project was honoured with the European Paper Recycling Award 2017 in October 2017.

The use of paper towels in the washrooms is due to hygienic aspects and their easy handling in logistics. When it comes to procurement, Commerzbank pays attention to the certification of the "Forest Stewardship Council" (FSC) and thus supports the environmentally friendly, socially responsible and economically viable forestry. Furthermore the reuse of the paper saves raw material, improves the CO2 balance of Commerzbank and saves about 20 percent of the residual waste.

For the recycling process, the used paper towels are transported once a month to a paper mill near Mainz, where they are brought back to life as toilet paper. Effective recycling requires a strict separation by our employees: the quota of paper towels in the respective containers is 98 percent. Following successful piloting, the recycling project has now been expanded to 15 offices of Commerzbank.