Posted on February 19, 2019
Italy is the first country in the world to introduce a ban on plastic cotton buds. Italy implemented this policy after the shocking results of a recent study by Environmental Association Legambiente in which was found that more than 9% of the waste on the Italian beaches consists of cotton swabs. Another study by the European Environment Agency shows that cotton buds make around 4% of the waste on the European beaches.
Italy has invested 250,000 Euros to ban plastic cotton buds and to stimulate manufacturers to use other alternatives for plastic packaging. Manufacturers who do not comply with the rules will be charged a fine of 25,000 Euros.
Italy will not be the last country to introduce a ban on plastic cotton buds. The European Parliament voted to prohibit most plastic products. This ban should be implemented in 2021. More countries need to implement bans on plastics. If no actions are taken, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050.
Starting from January this year, all cotton buds should be manufactured from recyclable material. This includes the packaging of the cotton buds. Fortunately, there are many alternatives to plastic and more manufacturers are starting to use these alternatives in their products.