Skip to main content

In the UK we use around 1.8 billion plastic cotton buds each year. It is estimated that 10% of those cotton buds are flushed down the toilet, eventually finding their way into the sea. The other 80% will either be incinerated or will remain in landfill for years and years. Awareness of this pollution issue alongside that of plastic straws and plastic stirrers has now reached the British Government. On 3rd March 2020 a legislation entered parliament which aims to see restrictions placed on these items to reduce the plastic pollution.

Plastic straws are readily being replaced with paper alternatives, or reusable options such as metal or bamboo straws and a wooden alternative to plastic stirrers is now a common sight. But what is in place in for plastic cotton buds?

There are several companies now producing cotton buds with cardboard stems, making them plastic free. This is a good start; however, the cardboard versions are still single use which continues to present an issue in terms of waste. I am pleased to let you know that an innovative company called Last Object have created a reusable solution. I introduce to you the world’s first reusable cotton bud, the Last Swab!

Cotton bud and case
A cotton bud and case

The Last Swab is still made of plastic (PP and TPE) however, it is reusable and designed to replace up to 1000 single use cotton buds. Plastic is not the enemy if it is used to make reusable products! The cotton bud comes in a really neat carry case to keep it clean and hygienic. The case is made from fermented plant starch such as from corn, cassava, sugarcane or sugar beet pulp. There are even seven colours to choose from, making it easy for each member of the family to have their own cotton bud.

The packaging of Last Swab is a really well designed cardboard sleeve which is packed with information on the environmental benefits of the product and instructions on the use and cleaning of it.

Cardboard packaging
Cotton bud case and packaging

The Last Swab comes in two styles, the original and the beauty. As I do not wear makeup, I chose the original, but the beauty version has a more defined bud to make it more suitable for applying or removing make up. The carry case makes it really easy to store the cotton bud in your makeup bag or handbag.

I am very pleased to have found a reusable alternative to a product that I use a lot and it is nice to know, that although Last Swab is not entirely plastic free, its reusability will mean that I am producing less waste which is always my goal.

Not content with stopping at the cotton bud, Last Object are also in the process of creating other reusable alternatives to single use items, I am really excited to see what they come up with next.

Please note that this is not a sponsored post, I am simply sharing a product that I love with you in order to help you find sustainable solutions for your home.

Leave a Reply