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Students’ union in Munich saves 3 million napkins every year

The Tork interfold napkin dispenser is reducing napkin consumption at the Munich Students’ Union cafeterias by a third.

The dispenser is designed to give out napkins one at a time, unlike traditional dispensers that often give them out in handfuls. Despite generating less waste and reducing over-consumption the Tork interfold napkin system also prevents the problem of napkins running out during busy service periods.

“Up to now it was often the case that napkins would run out when the queue at the till was at its longest and the cashiers had absolutely no time to refill the dispensers,” said purchaser at Munich Students’ Union Emil Harrant.  “Thanks to the new napkin dispenser this problem has resolved itself.”

The easy, one-at-a-time dispensing and the design of the dispenser make it easy to withdraw a napkin with one hand while balancing a tray of food with the other, said Emil. The fact that napkins are taken out individually is a hygiene advantage since each napkin is touched only by the diner. But the major advantage is the reduction in consumption at the Students’ Union, which serves around 2.6 million meals every year and previously used up to eight million napkins.

“We are now disposing of fewer unused napkins and using almost three million fewer napkins per year,” said Emil. “Due to the improved quality the new napkins are somewhat more expensive, but the system will quickly pay for itself.”.

The fact that the high-capacity dispensers each hold up to 900 napkins avoids the need to refill them during the rush hour which helps keep waiting lines short, says Emil. And the advertising space on the dispensers is useful for making a variety of announcements to students from special deals on food to application deadlines for student loans.

A total of 35 Tork Interfold napkin dispensers are in use in the six Students’ Union canteens. “Our aim is to only use one napkin from one dispenser and from one manufacturer in the future,” said Emil.

Munich Students’ Union is now using the Tork Advanced 420 blue wiper rolls in its kitchens as well. Each 510 metre provides 1.500 all-purpose wipers which are being used on surfaces, objects and hands.

"We are now disposing of fewer unused napkins and using almost three million fewer napkins per year."
Emil Harrant
Munich Students' Union

Products at Münich university