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The Cotton Swab Problem

Humans have delivered more than 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris to the ocean

National Geographic

Cotton swab companies create an average 1.5 BILLION swabs every single day. Out of the 1.5 billion, the average American uses close to 415 cotton ear swabs EVERY YEAR! Isn’t that insane?

What once started as a ‘local problem’ in some countries, it has now spread into a global pollution issue. Cotton swabs rank in the top 5% as a high pollutant and are most often found in our oceans and beaches.

The cotton swab pollution is due to the improper disposal. Instead of tossing them in the garbage or putting the paper ones in compost, they are being flushed down the toilet. Since they are rather small in size, they are able to make it past filters and will eventually end up in our waterways.

Not only are they found on the beaches and in our oceans, researchers are finding cotton swabs in the bellies of ocean animals and even birds. This has caused such an epidemic that countries like Europe are now in the process of banning them this year.

So how do we work towards fixing this problem?

‘Fixing‘ the problem is going to take a lot of work and people willing to try living a more sustainable life. The Lastobject is a company that is fighting for sustainability by ridding as many single use products that are part of the pollution problem. A mission that we can all admire and get on board.

The LastObject created the Last Swab. A reusable ear swab that is good for up to 1000 uses! That’s right, its REUSABLE! The ‘cotton‘ swab itself is made of a medical grade silicon with a plastic handle. All which is recyclable. A makeup swab (which is my favorite) and an ear swab is an absolute game changer and a step towards an eco-friendly sustainable life.

Not only are the swabs themselves are recyclable, but the cases that hold the swab are made of bioplastic, which means its compostable. It is made of PLA which is corn based and will compost between 60-90 days in ideal conditions.

This is a company one can really stand behind and has created feel good products that can really make difference.

To learn more about the LastObject mission, check out their inspirational video!

Reusable Ear Swab

When you first hear ‘reusable ear swab’ you may cringe a little. Even the words ‘ewww‘ may escape your lips. Let me tell you, it is not as bad as you think. The crazy part, THEY WORK!

Think about it. Each day you may average using 2 cotton swabs. You toss them in the garbage or toilet and your now apart of the ever growing pollution problem. It makes ya feel a little ‘blah’ about your habits once you understand the impact they have on the environment.

The Last Swab does not differ that much in size than an ordinary cotton swab. The ‘swab’ itself is only slightly smaller than the ones sold in large quantities. They have small bumps that are made of medical grade silicon that actually grab on to debris and ear wax.

Once used, all you need to do is wash with soap and water and put away in its protective case. Do not even think of boiling or putting in the dishwasher. They will melt. I was pleasantly surprised how well the Last Swab actually worked. I used it on my son who is really waxy. It got all the gunk out of his ear. It was very easy to clean and its protection case is large enough to keep from losing it.

If you are a person that tends to use cotton swabs to help dry out your ears after a shower, these are NOT absorbent.

Reusable Beauty Swab

The Last Swab Beauty is my FAVORITE! I would recommend to anyone who is a lover of makeup. This is perfect for smoking out your eyeliner on your lower lash line. It really helps soften up your look or blow out a smokey eye.

My go to use for the Last Swab Beauty is to fix my makeup mistakes. From getting mascara on my nose, or eyeliner transfer on my lid (hooded-eye girl problems) This is perfect for erasing those mistakes. I put a little beauty oil or make up remover cream on the tip, and its pointed end takes my mistakes away.

The Last Swab Beauty is something I will definitely be repurchasing after my 1000 uses are up. It will be kept with all my daily makeup items as part of my routine. I am so happy I have a product that not only works great, it will not leave small fuzzy’s behind on my face.

Sustainable living here we come!

The journey to living sustainably is a lot harder than many people think. But making small changes to your daily habits is better than not taking that step at all. The Last Swab is innovative and really makes you think about how much single use products affect our environment. They make a great travel accessory, and help you travel a little lighter. The Last Swabs are also great for household cleaning. Perfect if you have small nooks and crannies that only a cotton swab would be able to get to.

Would you use a reusable ear swab?

For more eco-friendly products, check out these great reads on BeautyBrite.

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