I’ve been on the lookout for biodegradable earbuds that don’t come in plastic packaging, and I found some at Easy Eco, made by a brand called Hydrophil.
An earbuds journey
Most single use earbuds are made with plastic stems, and once used, will be thrown in the bin or flushed down the toilet (improper disposal) which means it will ultimately end up in in the environment where it will contribute to plastic pollution and harm wildlife.
A large percentage of these plastic stem earbuds end up in our waterways and ultimately the ocean. According to the Beach Co-op, a local beach clean up organisation, plastic stem earbuds are the fifth highest plastic polluter in our South African oceans.
A small piece of plastic, part of a large problem
Plastic stem earbuds are so small, that they often get ingested by marine life, causing serious health damage and often death. By studying deceased marine animals (including sea birds), scientists now know that the plastic that is ingested, often stays in the digestive tract causing blockage, malnutrition, and eventual starvation.
Scientists have also discovered that many types of plastics found in the ocean, including plastic stem earbuds, basically turn into ‘sponges’ and absorbs harmful toxins, making plastic even more dangerous. We must consider the facts that the toxic plastic in the ocean, won’t ever biodegrade but will rather break down and become smaller and smaller. And because plastic can become as small as plankton, even more marine animals will consume these toxic micro plastics, and many of those marine animals, will get caught by fishing nets, and will end up on someones plate.
How to help!
Most of the plastic that end up in the ocean come from land, from us. We need to stop using these products immediately. The world is waking up, and in many countries, including Scotland and the UK, plastic stemmed earbuds will be banned, in order to fight single use plastic pollution. And here in South Africa it seems, we might soon ban them too!
There are already quite a few brands on the market that sell wood or bamboo stem earbuds, but each one I found was sold in single use plastic packaging. I’ll admit I bought those brands until I could find a better 100% plastic free option. Recently at the Vegan Lifestyle Festival I found the Hydrophil cotton swabs at the Easy Eco stall. And I discovered that Easy Eco also sell them on their online store.
Hydrophil cotton swabs are made from bamboo and certified organic cotton, and they are packaged in recycled cardboard (100 in a box). Once used, you can throw them in your compost. I also added the cardboard box to my compost heap. Hydrophil cotton swabs are also cruelty-free, vegan, fair trade, and water neutral. This makes my green vegan heart so very happy, as I now know I will most certainly not be contributing towards plastic stem earbud pollution.
What earbuds are you using? What other ways are you reducing your plastic use? Let me know in a comment below. If you’d like to see more of the body & beauty products I have found, have a look here. If you’d like to see what home & garden products I have found have a look here. New products posted regularly.
Let’s get Social!
Be sure to follow Easy Eco on Facebook and Instagram to see what they are up to! And follow me on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date with my posts! If you end up trying this product, after reading about it for the first times here, please tag me and let me know what you think. Remember to hashtag it #thegreenveganchick
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