Bob Earll ‘The idea of having biodegradable card instead of plastic for cotton bud sticks has been around for over 20 years. It is a no brainer. So this announcement which forces the obvious change is long overdue. Now for the rest of UK and Europe to follow suit. In the process Governments will get rid of one of the most obvious indicators of sewage related debris on beaches indicative of poor or no adequate sewage treatment.’

Scotland to become first UK country to ban plastic cotton buds
Crackdown on manufacture and sale of product will cut Scotland’s contribution to marine plastic pollution by half, says expert.

Libby Brook  Scotland correspondent The Scottish government plans to ban the manufacture and sale of plastic-stemmed cotton buds in a move that will cut the country’s marine plastic pollution by half, according to campaigners.

Launching a public consultation on the proposed ban, Scotland’s environment secretary, Roseanna Cunningham, said: “Banning plastic cotton buds would be a clear sign of our ambition to address marine plastics and demonstrate further leadership on this issue.”

“Despite various campaigns, people are continuing to flush litter down their toilets and this has to stop. Scotland’s sewerage infrastructure collects and treats some 945m litres of waste water each day. These systems are not designed to remove small plastic items such as plastic buds, which can kill marine animals and birds that swallow them.”

The move, which would make Scotland the first country in the UK to impose an outright ban on the product, follows concerns about the number of buds being washed up on beaches after being flushed down toilets.

Although most big retailers have switched to biodegradable paper-stemmed buds, imported plastic brands continue to be sold by smaller outlets.

The environmental charity Fidra, which runs the Cotton Bud Project in East Lothian, found hundreds of buds on a large stretch of shore on the award-winning Gullane beach in a recent clean-up operation.

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