Scotland has banned plastic cotton buds 11 months ago

Scotland has banned plastic cotton buds

Scotland has banned plastic-stemmed cotton buds in a bid to combat waste.

The country is the first part of the UK to outlaw the sale and manufacture of the buds.

The move came after concern from campaigners about the impact plastic buds were having on wildlife. Millions of plastic stems end up on beaches after being flushed down toilets.

Many companies, including Johnson Johnson, have already stopped using plastic in their cotton buds.

"Now we are seeing this ban come into place, that will pick up those last few retailers and manufacturers who haven't made the switch from plastic to paper," Heather McFarlane of environmental charity Fidra told BBC News.

"The plastic cotton bids have been washing up on beaches for years and they get into the environment in quite high numbers.

"They are particularly damaging to wildlife. They have been found in our native bird populations and in the intestines of turtles. You can just imagine the damage that can do."

Scotland's environment secretary Roseanna Cunningham said that the ban was part of a wider actions the government is taking to promote sustainability.

"Single-use plastic products are not only wasteful but generate unnecessary litter that blights our beautiful beaches and green spaces while threatening our wildlife on land and at sea."

A UK-wide ban on plastic-stemmed cotton buds, coffee stirrers and straws will come into effect next year.