Switch the Stick

Have you asked UK retailers yet to switch their cotton bud sticks from plastic to paper?  If not, here’s your chance! You can add your voice to the petition here;  Switch the Stick. The retailers are listening (I have inside information!), this campaign we can win!


Plastic Cotton buds are daft. Yes, people shouldn’t be putting them down the loo, but they do – in there millions!!  These millions make their merry way down the sewage system, into to the rivers, out to the oceans, into fish and other marine life, and the chemicals make their way into – you guessed it – fish eaters. Mmmmm!

This is asking for your help. Please can you add your voice here, Switch the Stick and push the petition over the 6,000 mark.

To help prevent marine plastic pollution at source!

Paper stem ones may still head down the toilet, but they won’t have the same damaging effect.  This switch also give retailers the chance to label their products; “don’t flush” so people can understand where stuff goes when it is.

Which could help stop everything other than poo, pee and paper heading down the loo.

Also it gives retailers the chance to create plastic free packaging for them from the off. Joining all the dots in one go! (or if not, a lot less!)  Such as these.

People may not try and squeeze boxes down the toilet! But they’re still plastic, that at best can be “recycled” (down-cycled when it comes to plastic) when they don’t need to be made of plastic in the first place.

Some already have agreed to, #switchthestick. Waitrose being one of the supermarkets, and the leading brand Johnson and Johnson. Which is fantastic news! It’s not by chance though, this moves comes after two years of pressure from the charity Fidra, an environmental charity based in Scotland. Their dedicated site is, The Cotton Bud Project which is full of information and alternatives.

City to Sea have turned up the heat, creating a public facing campaign with nearly 6,000 signatures on the petition in it’s first month!

 Why more signatures? 

Because the retailers are already watching and listening, they actually are! Three more committed in a meeting since the petition, we’re just waiting on their press releases. Exciting stuff! But there are more retailers to go…

And because very very soon 38 Degrees the leading campaign group in the UK are going to run it as a, ‘Campaigns by You”. They have over two half millions followers!  It would be incredible if it reaches all of them…

By adding your voice this could reach people, many who may of never heard of plastic pollution, and get the remaining retailers on board! 

Cotton buds make up over 60% of all sewage related beach litter (MCS, 2015). This switch could massively reduce these figures. How amazing would that be. “I was part of that!” – you’ll be able to tell your friends in the future!

Let’s make “Fish & Sticks” a thing of the past!

Switch the Stick!


Remember, it’s not just every refusal, but also every signature that adds up.

Thanks for signing and sharing! 


Fish & Sticks and Dirty Sticks photography by Cassar Photography


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