Scots charities back cotton bud ban

Beach litter crop

Ban is "great news for the environment and for wildlife" say environmental charities

Graham Martin's photo

11th January 2018 by Graham Martin 0 Comments

Scottish charities have backed moves to ban cotton buds.

The sale and manufacture of the plastic-stemmed items is to be banned under new Scottish Government plans.

This follows concerns about the number of buds being washed up on beaches after being flushed down toilets.

They are listed in the top ten forms of beach litter in surveys by the Marine Conservation Society.

WWF Scotland and Friends of the Earth Scotland (FOES) both backed the ban.

FOES director Dr Richard Dixon said: “This decisive action is great news for the environment and for wildlife. 

“Cotton buds are a very visible sign of our hugely wasteful habits, turning up on beaches across the globe. Manufacturers and supermarkets are already moving in the right direction but this single measure will guarantee that Scotland cuts its contribution to marine plastic pollution in half.

“Following the plastic bag charge and the announcement of a deposit and return scheme for drinks’ bottles and cans, this is another good step on the way to a society which uses resources more sensibly.

"We look forward to further initiatives when the Government’s promised new group on single-use plastic containers, such as coffee cups, reports its work.”

Dr Lyndsey Dodds, head of marine policy at WWF, said: “Cotton buds are some of the most pervasive forms of marine pollution so a ban is very welcome and a step in the right direction.

“We know plastic is suffocating our seas and devastating our wildlife with millions of birds, fish and mammals dying each year because of the plastic in our oceans.

“Plastics are also finding their way into the food we eat and the water we drink so saving our oceans will require further ambitious action from governments, industry and consumers.”