• Since 2013 Fidra has been tackling plastic cotton bud pollution

  • Plastic stemmed cotton buds can make their way into our oceans concentrate background toxins and are mistaken for food by animals

  • Plastic cotton buds are often in the top 10 most common items found during beach cleans polluting beaches across the world

  • By using best available science and engaging with industry Fidra encouraged a change from plastic to paper

  • Industry evidence and public awareness supported successful government engagement leading to the introduction of legislation to ban plastic cotton buds

take the pledge


Brands of Non Plastic Cotton Buds - Our Good Buddies

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    Environment Secretary, Scottish Government, Roseanna Cunningham:

    “The Cotton Bud Project and its goal to drive change within the industry towards the use of alternatives to plastic sticks is a great example of the valuable work that Fidra do raising awareness of marine litter issues and contributing to the implementation of Scotland’s first Marine Litter Strategy.”


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    Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies

    “We partnered with Fidra to announce the news of our conversion from plastic to paper sticks in the UK in March 2016. In April 2017, we saw the first paper sticks arrive on retailer shelves in the UK. This was an exciting moment for us, for Fidra and for our consumers!”

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    MCS Conservation Officer Catherine Gemmel:

    “It has been incredible to work with Fidra on their brilliant Cotton Bud Project and it highlights the power of partnership working…Both MCS and Fidra recognise that it’s the actions and inspiration from our volunteers around the entire country which truly influences the changes that our seas need”

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    Michael Harris | Category Technical Manager | Household & Pet
    Sainsbury's Supermarkets Ltd 

    “It’s a long and complex process to change consumer behaviour so as not to flush cotton buds.... whilst cotton buds shouldn’t be being flushed, they will continue to be flushed - at least in the short term. Changing to a paper stem would make the stem biodegradable and avoid persistent plastic stems remaining in the environment.”

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    Derek Robertson, Chief Executive of Keep Scotland Beautiful
    “As an environmental charity we aim to help people change the way they think about Scotland’s environment and encourage them to take action to improve and protect it.  We are proud to support The Cotton Bud Project, and will actively encourage people to take the good buddy pledge and to dispose of used cotton buds in a bin, rather than flush them down the toilet”.

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