Whats the Difference? (Makeup Pads)

A couple of weeks ago, I did a blog post about disposable paper towels and this week I’ve been thinking a lot about cotton wool. Cotton wool takes a huge amount of resources to grow. I found a really good website called babame which all my information on the poster and this blog has come from.

Cotton wool is one of the most used products here in the UK, we are told to use it on our newborn babies (which I did religiously) for changing nappies, washing babies and using it for daily activities like taking off your makeup or cleansing. But what I didn’t know at the time was how much resources it takes to make. One of many things that I read about was the use of chemicals and pesticides and a LOT of fertilisers which are not only bad for humans but bad for our wildlife. After the cotton wool has grown, further chemicals are used to turn it into the soft cotton wool that we know and use regularly. I also didn’t know that once the cotton wool has been treated with bleach to make it more ‘appealing’ to consumers that it’s not as biodegradable as we ‘think’.

Not only does cotton wool need a lot of water to grow but it also comes in single use plastic bags. After a lot of research and watching a few programmes on tv about single use plastics (‘War On Plastics’ is a great eye opener if you are interested) I came to the conclusion that not all plastics are bad. It’s the single use plastics that are the issue.

What are single use plastics?

Single use plastics are items that come in plastic packaging that only have a single use, eg sanitary pads, ear buds, cotton wool, sandwiches, crisps, plastic knives and folks, coffee cups etc.

Why are single use plastics a problem?

The problem with single use plastics is that it doesn’t biodegrade. It takes many years for it to degrade but it creates tiny micro plastics which seep into the ocean which causes harm to our sea-life. It’s reported that 8 million tonnes of plastic enters our oceans each year.

What can we do about it?

We can change how we buy products and really think about how has it been made and what it is made from. There are lots of small business out there that create reusable products (like me!) that are passionate about our environment.

We can make sure that all the packaging that is sent out via parcels are reused or biodegradable. We can avoid using non recycled plastic bottles and straws, recycle as much as possible (it does make a huge difference). If you have a local zero waste shop, take your pots and containers with you and have a little browse!

So what’s great about reusable makeup remover pads?

They are great for removing makeup or using for cleansing and toning. They are completely machine washable- just put them in a little mesh bag and pop them in with your regular laundry.

They are super soft and absorbent. They have antibacterial properties and will last up to 5 (or more) years.

I really love the slogan, “We don’t need a handful doing zero waste perfectly, we need everyone doing it imperfectly”. Little changes like these DO make a difference to help combat single use items. We can all work together to create a better environment for our families and show the next generation that disposable single use items can be replaced with alternatives.

Leave a comment