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Top-rated eco-friendly straws and cotton buds as plastic ban comes into force in England

Maisie Bovingdon
·Shopping writer
·3-min read
Plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds have officially been banned in the UK, so we have found eco-friendly alternatives to buy now. (Getty Images)
Plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds have officially been banned in the UK, so we have found eco-friendly alternatives to buy now. (Getty Images)

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The use of single-use plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds is banned in England from 1 October 2020 onwards.

The ban will also make it illegal for businesses to sell these items, in a bid to tackle environmental issues and protect marine wildlife, as part of a 25-Year Environment Plan.

However, hospitals, bars and restaurants can provide plastic straws to those who require them, such as those with disabilities or other medical conditions.

According to the government’s website, 4.7 billion plastic straws, 316 million plastic stirrers and 1.8 billion cotton buds are used in England every year – and most of those end up in the ocean.

The ban encourages us to use alternative items to plastic household products that are environmentally-friendly, and there are plenty of options.

We have found a selection of straw and cotton bud alternatives to invest in to do your part for the planet.

3 top-rated eco-friendly cotton buds

Pandoo Bamboo Cotton Buds | £9.49 from Amazon

pandoo Bamboo Cotton Buds
pandoo Bamboo Cotton Buds

Pandoo’s Cotton Buds are made from 100% biodegradable cotton and organic bamboo. The design is odourless, as well as free from dyes, chemicals and plastics.

Snowfield 600 pk Bamboo Cotton Buds | £4.99 from Amazon

Snowfield 600 pk Bamboo Cotton Buds
Snowfield 600 pk Bamboo Cotton Buds

Snowfield’s large pack of cotton buds are ideal for those looking to bulk buy eco-friendly designs, as they are made from natural materials that are eco-friendly.

The cotton bud has a bamboo handle, which is said to be stronger than paper or the previous plastic stick, but can biodegrade.

Humble Bamboo Cotton Swabs | £1.99 from Holland and Barrett

Humble Bamboo Cotton Swabs
Humble Bamboo Cotton Swabs

Humble’s Bamboo Cotton Swabs are 100% biodegradable.

The product has been FSC approved and vegan-certified. Plus, every purchase made goes towards funding projects for the benefit of children in need.

3 top-rated eco-friendly reusable straws

Maistic Natural Drinking Bamboo Straws 6 Pack | £5.59 from Holland & Barrett

Maistic Natural Drinking Bamboo Straws 6 Pack
Maistic Natural Drinking Bamboo Straws 6 Pack

Maistic’s Natural Drinking Bamboo Straws are made from organic bamboo, which is pesticide free, and dried and hollowed out for your use.

The set comes with six straws measuring 21.5cm in length, which is perfect for juices, tea, coffees, milkshakes and cocktails.

S'well Reusable Stainless Steel Set of 4 Straws & Cleaning Brush | £12 from john Lewis & Partners

S'well Reusable Stainless Steel Set of 4 Straws & Cleaning Brush
S'well Reusable Stainless Steel Set of 4 Straws & Cleaning Brush

S’well’s reusable stainless pack come complete with four straws and a cleaning brush. The design boasts flexible necks to make for easy drinking, plus they are dishwasher friendly.

VEHHE Metal Straw Stainless Steel Straws Drinking Straws Reusable | £2.99 (Was £7.99)

VEHHE Metal Straw Stainless Steel Straws Drinking Straws Reusable
VEHHE Metal Straw Stainless Steel Straws Drinking Straws Reusable

VEHHE’s pack come complete with four stainless steel straws, two of which are straight and two are bent, as well as a cleaning brush.

The straws are reusable, and free from BPA and plastic, there is no oxidation, colourfast or metal aftertaste. This item has received more than 10,000 reviews, one of which read: “Must buy for the eco friendly.”

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