Reusable cotton swabs: Environment-friendly or hygiene hazard?
American inventor Leo Gerstenzang has been a household name since his invention of cotton swabs – or “Q Tips” – in 1923. We are quite certain, though, that Gerstenzang did not think his invention would lead to the production of 1.5 bn cotton buds for ears every single day in 2020; presuming that they are still being used for their original purpose – cleaning ears.

Would Gerstenzang, however, shed a tear if he got to know that cotton buds were no longer, in fact, “cotton” buds? That’s the aim of a reusable Danish innovation, which relies on thermoplastic elastomers instead of cotton, and polyester wadding.

It makes one think though – even if cotton is being saved this way, water and soap are being used to clean the cactus-like swabs on the PP handle, which brings the focus back to the environment!

Whether it’s wise to keep one’s used Q Tip on one’s dressing table for the next 1,000 uses is probably more a question of cleanliness…
11.12.2020 [246531-0]
Published on 11.12.2020

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