A Global Picture

There continues to be worldwide documentation of plastic cotton buds in marine litter.

They are widely recognised to be part of the marine pollution issue across Europe and further afield; having been recorded in remote, undeveloped sites as well as heavily populated areas of both developed and developing parts of the world. They feature in the guidelines of the Marine Conservation Society UK, the Europe-wide OSPAR Commission for monitoring marine litter on beaches, and the US National Marine Debris Monitoring Program.

In 2019, the European Commission adopted the Single Use Plastics Directive, which will require all members states to adopt legislation banning the use of several ‘single use’ plastic items including plastic stemmed cotton buds. This will hopefully have a global reach and reduce our plastic footprint on the oceans.

Please contact us if you have any additional reports or records with details of cotton buds in marine litter to add to our map.