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The Problem with Plastic Cotton Swabs


Cotton swabs, cotton buds, q –tips, call them what you like but they all have one thing in common – they are destroying the environment.

plastic cotton buds

Good news is that there is a solution to this problem. We no longer need to use plastic cotton buds, we don’t need to ever buy a plastic cotton swab again – ever. There are sustainable options out there, one being cotton buds made from bamboo instead of plastic.

Cotton swabs are a single use item. Many of us probably use them to clean our ears. Even though we all know that cleaning your ears with cotton swabs is a no-no. Although I’m also guilty of doing that – it is just so satisfying in a weird way… There are however many other uses for them, like applying and removing makeup, cleaning jewelry or doing art projects.

A little history

The standard cotton swabs have been around since the 1920s when Leo Gerstenzang invented them after watching his wife use a toothpick and cotton to clean their baby’s ears. He thought that it could be dangerous to use a toothpick, since it could harm the baby’s ears and the cotton might fall off the toothpick, ending up stuck in the ear. After several years of perfecting his product it got known under the name Q-tips.

Plastic Stems

Today, many cotton swabs have plastic stems which pose a real danger to the environment and animals. They often end up in oceans where they are ingested by marine life, which can cause serious internal damage. It is estimated that 1.8 billion cotton buds are used in England each year. Many are flushed down the toilet where they make their way to the ocean.

cotton swabs

Make the switch

If you haven’t already it’s time to make the switch from plastic to sustainable options. Bamboo cotton buds are 100% biodegradable and won’t damage the environment nor our animals. We have them in several colors and they come in a pack of 200.

bamboo cotton buds, bamboo cotton swabs