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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





2017-07-06 19:17:09 +0100

Petition is successful with 151,330 signatures

2017-05-11 20:38:05 +0100

Petition is successful with 151,288 signatures

2017-05-08 16:29:46 +0100

Petition is successful with 151,282 signatures

2017-04-11 00:01:04 +0100

Petition is successful with 151,265 signatures

2017-03-22 03:42:32 +0000

Petition is successful with 151,251 signatures

2017-03-19 12:13:03 +0000

Petition is successful with 151,249 signatures

2017-03-02 09:05:04 +0000

Petition is successful with 151,228 signatures

2017-02-23 19:42:09 +0000

Petition is successful with 151,223 signatures

2017-02-01 20:21:24 +0000

Petition is successful with 151,185 signatures

2017-01-31 10:49:09 +0000

Petition is successful with 151,182 signatures

2017-01-22 10:58:26 +0000

Petition is successful with 151,150 signatures

2017-01-17 17:01:17 +0000

Petition is successful with 151,125 signatures

2016-12-31 00:20:19 +0000

Petition is successful with 150,545 signatures

2016-12-20 12:59:48 +0000

Petition is successful with 156,293 signatures

2016-12-07 09:03:13 +0000

150,000 signatures reached

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