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It’s Plastic Free July, a perfect opportunity to compare plastic cotton buds vs bamboo cotton buds. Over 544 million plastic cotton buds are sold every year worldwide. Worse thing… these are NEVER recycled! While we have achieved much to ban plastic bags, when it comes to these little plastic monstrosities there’s been way less pressure. Let’s change that together because every bud does matter!
You see… thing is that cotton buds are small but yet a big issue. You use it once, and it takes 400 years to go away. And because it’s plastic, it will never go away. Instead, it will become tiny microplastics that slowly will be absorbed by nature.
544 million plastic cotton buds are sold every year worldwide. And these are NEVER recycled!
- Plastic cotton buds disposed of down toilets enter the sewage system
- Plastic cotton buds are so small, then storm events and blockages result in the release of plastic cotton buds out to sea with untreated sewage
- The physical structure of plastic cotton buds enables them to bypass the filters of many wastewater treatment works and be released to sea with treated sewage
- At sea, plastic cotton buds can attract and concentrate background pollutants to toxic levels
- Mistaken for food by many animals, plastic cotton buds and the toxins coating them can enter the food chain
May 2019 the UK government announced it would be banning cotton buds (along with plastic straws and stirrers) as from April 2020; the European Union as from 2021. Meaning, from this date these buds will only be available to people with medical needs or a disability. The aim is to vastly reduce the amount of rubbish and damage caused by the 4.7 billion plastic straws, 2 billion cotton buds with plastic stems, and 300 million plastic stirrers used in the UK each year.
While the fight against plastic straws is been on for a while now until recently there’s been way less pressure to remove cotton buds from our beauty routines.
Alternatives: plastic cotton buds vs bamboo cotton buds
So what is the alternative to these monstrous plastic cotton buds?
This time there’s nothing extremely technological, unaffordable or inaccessible. Instead, it is a natural option: bamboo cotton buds. As the name says, instead of plastic it is made of bamboo. It is the exact same thing, but compostable and zero waste.
Bamboo is also naturally antibacterial. The packaging is also made of cardboard, more eco-friendly than the plastic nightmare.
It is an easy swap, a kind gesture to help the preservation of our species.
And as always, it turns out that it is good for you, good for your pocket and good for the planet!