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To: UK Retailers

Switch to paper cotton buds

18/12/16 - We Won

Due to this campaign Aldi, Asda, Boots, Lidl, Morrisons, Sainsburys, Superdrug, Tesco and Wilkinsons have all promised to switch to paper sticks!

What a way to end the year. I'm so grateful to all the 38 Degrees members who got behind City to Sea's campaign and put pressure on our retailers to Switch the Stick. Your signatures, shares and social media action made every bit of difference ... the seas, rivers and coastlines will be a lot cleaner in the coming years thanks to you!

Natalie Fee
City to Sea -

Help reduce plastic pollution in UK rivers and seas by asking retailers to switch own-brand cotton bud stems from plastic to paper.

Why is this important?

Plastic cotton bud stems are the number one item of plastic, sewage-related debris on our beaches and rivers [1] - yet retailers could help prevent this by switching the stick from plastic to paper.

In the marine environment, plastics can be eaten by marine life, often with fatal consequences. Plastic is found in the stomachs of Loggerhead Turtles, Seabirds and many species of UK-caught fish. And pieces that don't get eaten break down into microplastics, forming part of a dangerous plastic smog in our seas.

Retailers are listening - earlier this year, Waitrose and Johnson & Johnson announced they'd make the change to paper, and the Coop and Marks and Spencers sell paper-stem buds. Now we need to make sure the others do the same.

Tesco, Sainsburys, Boots, ASDA, Morrisons, Lidl, Aldi, Superdrug and Wilko are currently reviewing their policies on cotton buds ... which is why we need to show them how many of us support the switch to paper!

Even paper stem cotton buds shouldn’t be flushed down the loo. But if they are, they're less likely to pass through sewage filters and will quickly biodegrade if they escape.

So please sign and share our petition to ask the remaining retailers to Switch the Stick from plastic to paper.

Your voice will be heard!


Natalie and the City to Sea Team

[1] Beachwatch Report 2015, Marine Conservation Society
United Kingdom

Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL





2016-12-02 15:15:04 +0000

What a week! Thank-you for supporting and sharing the campaign - this week has been a whirlwind of announcements!

First Tesco, then Sainsburys, Asda ... and now ALDI have agreed to switch to paper stem cotton buds by the end of 2017.

It's all down to your signing and sharing that we're seeing this kind of change happen so quickly. The team at City to Sea will be celebrating this weekend and raising a glass to 38 Degrees members who've helped make this happen!

Let's keep up the pressure and get Boots, Lidl, Superdrug and Wilko on board too.

Keep sharing the petition, writing on the remaining retailer's social media channels and making our voices heard.

This has been an incredible week for the fight against marine plastic pollution, so thank-you - your support is appreciated and makes all the difference!

Natalie, City to Sea

2016-11-28 22:47:29 +0000

100,000 signatures reached

2016-11-09 13:47:14 +0000

50,000 signatures reached

2016-11-08 15:48:15 +0000

20,000 signatures reached

2016-11-05 09:50:35 +0000

10,000 signatures reached

* A portion of the signature total has been collected offline and has not yet been verified by 38 Degrees.