If you use them, switch to biodegradable cotton buds. Conventional cotton buds are made with plastic, and are just the right size and shape to fall down storm drains and go into the sea, where they can harm marine wildlife. In most cases, you don’t even need them. Doctors say to avoid jabbing cotton buds in your ear (if you have wax, then clean up your diet, use a flannel or get your ears syringed). But many people like to use them to remove make-up or even to clean fiddly areas like between laptop keyboard keys or around a car’s gearstick.
If you have plastic cotton buds already, bin them after use (don’t flush them down the toilet, they will just go into the water supply). And then replace with biodegradable versions. You can find these in most chemists and supermarkets.
- Leave No Trace Bamboo Cotton Buds are responsibly made with a sturdy bamboo stick, and biodegrade after use (you should still put them in the bin, don’t flush down the loo, they could cause blockages). Sent in a recycled cardboard box.
- Go Bambu Cotton Buds are sold in a box that is easy to recycle. The box contains 100 buds, that you can just pop in the compost bin or normal after use, without harm to the planet. 10% profits are donated to sustainable charities.