Beach Clean

Consultation on proposal to ban the manufacture and sale of plastic-stemmed cotton buds in Scotland. June 2018

COAST PlasticCottonBudResponse 200618

The purpose of this consultation was to gather views from stakeholders on the addition of secondary legislation under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to introduce a ban on the manufacture and the sale of plastic-stemmed cotton buds. The proposed bans aim to further protect our seas from plastic pollution.

In January 2018 the Scottish Government proposed to introduce legislation which bans the manufacture and sale of plastic-stemmed cotton buds in Scotland due to a number of factors including:

  • Plastics in our seas harm our marine environment
  • Plastic-stemmed cotton buds are contributing to this problem and are one of the most commonly found items of plastic litter washed up on our shores
  • Campaigns to promote behaviour change have failed to stop the irresponsible disposal of these items down toilets
  • ‘The Cotton Bud Project’ has demonstrated that manufacturers and retailers are able to trade in viable biodegradable alternative products and there is therefore no known reason as to why other companies would be unable to follow this best practice

A public consultation was held from 27 April – 22 June 2018, and the subsequent consultation response report published on 30 July 2018. The draft legislation and Public Notice are available at the bottom of the page.