Is there any concern about using paper towels with hot food? I know there are some who advise against using the first few and last few sheets during Pesach, due to the presence of starch-based glue which may be chametz. Otherwise it is generally not viewed as problematic, but I've heard that there might be an issue of some ingredients (glycerin, maybe?) being derived from non-kosher sources. Does anyone have authoritative information about this one way or the other?
The potential kashrus concern with non-food items is the use of processing aids or release agents during manufacturing, which at times could have a non-kosher component. It is certainly a worthy sheilah to address the issues involved since these products, which will later touch food directly, may possibly come into contact with a non-kosher processing aid or release agent.
The issue with the towels is the adhesive or glue that is applied to the roll, which allows the first few sheets to stick together and prevent the roll from unraveling. This adhesive contains numerous components and as a result many rip off the first three sheets before use on Pesach, lest any adhesive present on those sheets contain chometz or kitniyos. However, some take the position that this is not necessary since the adhesive or glue is a non-food item that is not at all fit for eating by any standard, and should be completely permissible. It is interesting to note that glue can also contain derivatives from treif animals, and discussion of this topic should not be limited to only Pesach. Those that are lenient on Pesach would also take a lenient position throughout the year, since glue is not fit to eat as a food. There are no concerns with the paper itself.
Like all other issues, consumers should consult their Rabbonim for direction.
Information was taken from http://www.oukosher.org/index.php/common/article/10006
This week sees the launch of the Summer 2010 Kosher Nosh Guide with lots of products being given the KLBD (Kashrut Division of the London Beth Din) certification for the first time including Bounty which has for many years been listed as non-kosher in the guide.
If indeed the problem is that it is a kitniyot-based glue, then there is no problem with owning such paper towels. Kitniyot is only assur for Ashkenazim according to most Orthodox poskim, and there is no prohibition of owning kitniyos over Passover like there is with owning hametz. As long as you aren't eating them, it would be fine. Also, even if you were eating them, there are some poskim who permit the eating of kitniyot for ashkenazim if there is a change in form (shinui davar). A practical ramification of this is whether or not corn syrup is permitted. However, IIRC, it is not a majority. Poskim use a similar logic to matir gelatin, which even some (but not all) mehadrin hashgachot in Israel declare to be muttar.