The Cotton Bud Ban Is Coming – Here’s What To Use Instead

Photographed by Megan Madden
In April 2020, plastic straws, cotton buds and drink stirrers will be banned across England in an effort to tackle plastic pollution. The aim is to vastly reduce the amount of rubbish and damage caused by the 4.7 billion plastic straws, two billion cotton buds with plastic stems, and 300million plastic stirrers used in the UK each year, the government says. And it's about time too. The war against plastic straws has been rumbling on for a while, and many of us have already given them up and invested in a reusable metal straw or even a glass version – you could even say they're now "cool". But until now there's been less pressure to remove cotton buds from our beauty routines (or turn down the drink stirrers we're often pointlessly given with our cocktail or coffee).
Now though, the time has come to find ourselves some eco-friendly alternatives to plastic-heavy cotton buds, and luckily we've done the legwork for you. Click through for our pick of environmentally friendly replacements to save you from some common plights of modern life.

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