IT'S OFFICIAL: In just a few months, plastic-stemmed cotton buds will be banned from the UK for good.
Not only are these plastic cotton buds contributing to excessive waste – it's estimated that we use 1.8 billion in England each year – but as many as 10 per cent are being improperly disposed of by getting flushed down toilets, causing more water pollution and costing millions in clean-up costs.
Cotton buds are essential for our beauty regimens for makeup application and removal, as well as earwax digging (we know we're not supposed to but we all do it anyway). They're also useful for cleaning out pets' eyes and ears.
These days, you'll find cotton buds made from a variety of different materials.
Some are plastic-free so are fine to use, while others can be cleaned and reused over and over.
Bamboo and organic cotton buds are a popular alternative – these can be composted safely.
You can also find reusable cotton buds made from silicone, complete with their own case for safe-keeping and available in a range of stylish colours – originally pioneered by Danish startup LastSwab.
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