What harm could a little cotton bud, barely measuring 3 inches do? Well made from plastic and used 13.2 billion times per year in the UK according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), a shocking amount of harm can be done to our environment.
With so many of the plastic cotton buds being flushed down the toilet, they are easily ending up on our beaches and oceans. Because of their small size, it is easy for cotton buds to pass through our sewage treatments and end up in the sea and land. As they are made from plastic they are not going anywhere fast and are expected to stay around for hundreds of years. They may get broken into smaller pieces along the line but still, they will pollute our earth for years and years to come.
When they end up in the sea they are detrimental to marine life and wildlife. They can often be mistaken for food and once digested can lead to marine life and birds being physically damaged, starved and killed. Certain plastics can also release harmful toxins to marine life and the marine environment.
Photo Credit: Natasha Ewins
We need immediate change, how can we continue causing such damage to our earth? I hope governments will lift their heads out of the plastic cotton bud sand and follow the example of the Scottish Government who plan to ban the plastic cotton bud.
In our store, Oak Lane, we offer an alternative to plastic cotton buds. We stock biodegradable cotton buds by Hydrophil. These are plastic free, made from sustainable bamboo and cotton and are 100% biodegradable. When you are done with your cotton bud, just simply add to your organic waste or compost where it biodegrades.
If you're new to this plastic-free journey, a simple change to biodegradable cotton buds can be a cheap and easy start with big benefits to the environment.