100,000 plastic cotton buds get flushed down the loo EVERY WEEK in the Thames Water region alone. Not only do they cause sewer blockages by providing a sickly structure for fats and rags in the sewers to stick to, but they're a menace to our marine habitat too. During heavy rainfall our sewers overflow into our waterways, where these plastic cotton buds get flushed out to sea. Once there, they remain for hundreds of years and are a serious hazard to our marine wildlife.
It’s time to turn the tide on this unnecessary marine litter. The Switch the Stick Campaign will aim to put an end to cotton bud plastic pollution by working on three levels: to encourage consumers to change their buying habits and switch from plastic to paper stemmed cotton buds; to work with major UK retailers to stock paper stemmed buds and phase out sales of plastic cotton buds; and to lobby UK manufacturers to stop the production of plastic cotton buds and switch to paper stems.