Why should you choose bamboo cotton buds?
Written by Emmanuelle Gammage
On average the UK uses 1.8 billion plastic-stemmed cotton buds a year – an easy fix to smudged mascara or a forbidden dig for wax. Sadly, many of them are flushed down the toilet and find their way into the ocean afterward.
Due to their size and shape, it’s easy for them to fit through our sewage systems. Ending up in the ocean or washed up on shore, their plastic and chemical coatings cause pollution and harm marine life.
A bathroom item that is used for less than a minute and discarded so quickly should be biodegradable and luckily, the government banned plastic cotton buds from April 2020.
What is it?
Inspired by Justin Hofman’s iconic photograph of a seahorse carrying a cotton bud, Non Plastic Beach designed the perfect sustainable swap – bamboo cotton buds. They’re 100% compostable, they’re free from chemical coatings and plastic, and they’re vegan. Not to mention, they come in fully recyclable packaging.
Don’t worry, I’ve tried and tested them and I can confirm, they fixed my smudged mascara just as well as a plastic cotton bud. Except, I don’t have to feel guilty for disposing of them anymore because I know they’ll break down in a few months.
What makes bamboo cotton buds sustainable?
Bamboo is a fantastic alternative to plastic because it’s strong and durable, yet 100% natural and biodegradable. It’s commonly called a tree but it’s actually a grass – the fastest growing grass on Earth. On average it grows one inch every 40 minutes and it can reach up to 35 metres tall.
It’s great for the planet because it produces 35% more oxygen and absorbs 35% more carbon dioxide than equivalent strands of trees. You can also crop around 60 tonnes per hectare compared with 20 tonnes for most trees and only two tonnes for cotton, drastically reducing pressure on land.
As for disposal, bamboo is 100% natural which means it can be composted and disposed of in an eco-friendly way.
Swapping to bamboo is a great choice for the planet, especially in the bathroom as so much of our plastic consumption takes place there.
Why choose bamboo cotton buds over other non-sustainable alternatives?
Although plastic cotton buds have been banned in the UK, it’s worth mentioning their environmental impact.
They’re commonly made from polypropylene plastic which not only takes roughly 30 years to degrade, leaving micro-plastic in its place, it’s also lightweight and thin meaning it can pass through our sewage systems and float near the ocean’s surface.
Over time, UV, oxygen, the wind and waves break down cotton buds into smaller pieces. These micro-plastics are easy for marine life and birds to mistake for food and ingesting them can cause damage to an animal’s digestive system. As plastic can’t biodegrade or be digested, it just sits in an animal’s stomach before the cycle inevitably repeats itself. Toxins are also released during this process, polluting the ocean and air.
We know plastic is damaging our environment at a rapid pace, so choosing sustainable alternatives is super important. The Non Plastic Beach range makes it easy to create an eco-friendly bathroom routine.
Why choose bamboo cotton buds over other sustainable alternatives?
Another common replacement for plastic cotton buds is paper cotton buds. They’re still a good choice for the environment, but bamboo is stronger than paper so they won’t bend. If you dab cotton buds in water, paper won’t perform as well either.
Bamboo cotton buds need fewer resources to produce in comparison to paper, reducing your carbon footprint while simultaneously protecting wildlife.
And even if you put paper cotton buds in the recycling bin, they’re so small they may end up getting lost in the process. Choosing bamboo instead means you can compost it and know where it ends up (back into the natural cycle of life). It’s also worth mentioning that even some sustainable alternatives still come packed in plastic packaging. But our Non Plastic Beach Bamboo Cotton Buds come in fully recyclable and composting packaging.
But even bamboo cotton buds shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet – save that for the three Ps! All bathroom products should be popped in the bin. Yes, they would break down eventually in the ocean but that doesn’t mean it won’t do some damage beforehand.
Swap to bamboo today
Although I don’t use cotton buds every day, that doesn’t mean I should simply ignore the bigger issue. Especially when the slim little things cause so much havoc to our planet. The Non Plastic Beach Bamboo Cotton Buds work exactly the same as alternatives, except they’re way better for the planet – all you have to do is wait for them to be delivered to your doorstep.
Make the change today by checking out our sustainable Bathroom and Hygiene product range. We promise you won’t even be able to tell the difference from your usual essentials! If you want to save even more join our Home Club, for unbeatable prices guaranteed across our entire product range! A minute to join, a lifetime of impact. We’re in, are you?