US inventor’s Yowel system reduces paper-towel waste

Robert Stockdill

Robert Stockdill

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American inventor Steve Krengel wants to wipe out paper towel waste – and he has created just the device to achieve it – the Yowel.

Krengel has launched a Kickstarter campaign to develop a closed-loop kitchen-towel sanitising and reusing system for households and workplaces which he says can have a big impact on reducing the estimated 254 million tonnes of paper towels that are discarded as trash every year around the world.

Yowel comprises a towel dispenser with a capacity of 40 durable, long-lasting fabric towels. Used towels can be placed in a laundry bag (supplied as part of the kit) and washed with the usual household laundry. 

Krengel’s patented, easy-to-fill dispenser makes it simple to grab a handful of clean, washed towels and place them back into the opening, without having to organise them in any specific way, making refills quick and easy. 

Tests have shown the towels can be washed more than 100 times, which equates to more than 4000 uses. 

“I was using a ton of paper towels and wondered how easy it would be to change this habit with the right system,” said Krengel. 

“After I created the first Yowel prototype, my paper towel habit was transformed.”

US inventor's Yowel system reduces paper-towel waste
Yowel dispensers come in two forms: wall-mounted or for benchtop use.

Krengel says the statistics on the negative impacts of paper towels are eye-popping. “My goal was to make a cost-effective, sanitary product that’s also environmentally friendly.”

He cites studies showing that if every US household reduced their use of just one 70-sheet roll of paper towels, it would save more than 500,000 trees annually.

But Yowel is not just a sustainable solution – it is also cost-effective. Americans spend an average of US$120 on paper goods every year.

Preorders are being taken on Kickstarter. 

Robert Stockdill

Robert Stockdill

Robert Stockdill is a content writer with more than 30 years of experience in five countries. His style has built upon award-winning success in news and features in the print media to leadership in digital communication, spanning news websites, social media, magazines, brochures, and contributing to books. Recognising the devastating impact of consumer behaviour on the planet and wanting to help make a difference Robert launched Viable.Earth as a platform to celebrate positive contributions by brands, companies and individuals towards reducing environmental impact and improve sustainability – especially in the fields of fashion, beauty, food, lifestyle, and transportation.

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