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Ban on plastic stemmed cotton buds

**update on my previous post**

I just found out that yesterday a ban on single-use plastic straws, plastic-stemmed cotton buds and plastic drinks stirrers has come into force in England! Yay!
This means it's illegal for businesses to sell or supply these items.

There are still many single-use plastic items available so we still have a long way to go - but this is a step in the right direction. We need a complete overhaul and try to ban all types of single-use disposable items for reusable alternatives.

I read that countries such as Ireland and France have targets on reusable packaging and deposit return schemes, hopefully, England can follow suit.


 Blog post 3rd September 2020

In October 2019 Scotland banned single-use plastic-stemmed cotton buds, drink stirrers and straws (with exceptions to ensure that those with medical needs or a disability are able to access plastic straws).

Unfortunately in the UK, this ban has been delayed due to Covid-19.

In England, government figures estimated that we use 4.7 billion plastic straws, 316 million plastic stirrers and 1.8 billion plastic-stemmed cotton buds every year. About 10% of cotton buds are flushed down toilets and can end up in waterways and oceans which in turn threaten precious marine wildlife. These products are virtually impossible to recycle

Surveys last year during the Great British Beach Clean showed that cotton buds were in the Top 10 items found by volunteers – with an average 17 found per every 100 metres of beach in England.

Many companies have already started making the move to make cotton buds and straws from paper rather than plastic and drinks stirrers from wood.

What can you do?

Stop buying plastic-stemmed cotton buds and stop using plastic drink stirrers and plastic straws.

Many food and drink places have already switched to paper straws and wooden stirrers so you can request these instead of the plastic versions. Or request that you don’t need one.

Switch to paper stemmed biodegradable cotton buds as I mentioned in my video. And the reusable, washable stainless steel straws in a handy carry pouch (which also double up as a drinks stirrer).

The cotton buds I stock have stems made out of bamboo. As they are plant-based this makes them fully compostable and biodegradable.

Both the cotton buds and stainless steel straws are available to purchase on


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