Plastic waste is rapidly becoming an environmental crisis. In 2017 in the US, packaging alone added up to 17 million tons of waste. The crisis has gotten worse since China began refusing most plastic waste for recycling from the US, leading to recycling programs struggling with plastic nobody wants. When you stop and consider it takes 450 years for one plastic bottle to decompose, the scale of the crisis becomes clear.

Fortunately, reusable products have made enormous advances over the humble tote bag and travel mug over the last few decades. Reusable coffee trays, straws, and more have hit the market, helping people reduce their waste. And now we can add those cotton swabs to the list, with the LastSwab, which has been singled out for praise by Buzzfeed, Good Morning America, and FastCompany. For a limited time, you can see why it's so beloved for 30% off, with a three-piece or six-piece set for the whole family.

The Case Against Cotton Swabs

That the cotton swab you chuck in the trash adds to the plastic waste problem in the oceans is just one environmental issue around cotton swabs. Cotton, as it's currently produced, is unsustainable; the amount of water that goes into making a single t-shirt could support a person for nearly three years

And in 2017 alone, 534 billion units of swabs were sold worldwide. To be fair to the manufacturers, they've been working to get rid of the little plastic bar, and replace it with a rolled paper stick. But that, of course, requires trees to be cut down and processed, which has its own problems.

So if you need them to apply makeup, clean out a nook or cranny in something you own, or otherwise get some crud out, the LastSwab was designed to replace those little cotton buds with something more sustainable that you can use over and over again.

How The LastSwab Works

The LastSwab is designed of earth-friendly friendly materials with a nylon core and TPE plastic tips that are soft and durable, and a PLA case, made of corn, that's biodegradable. It's designed to be used and reused, with up to 1000 uses before being recycled. Both TPE and Nylon can be recycled, as well, and even if it does wind up in the trash, LastSwab estimates it will have .01% of the impact from your typical cotton swab since far fewer of them will be thrown away.

The soft materials make it easy to clean; just hand-wash it with soap and water when you're done, and return it to the handy case, available in turquoise, black, blue, green, peach, and red. And if that weren't enough, there's a hard-headed, common-sense reason to buy a LastSwab as well.

LastSwab By The Numbers

Cotton swabs aren't cheap. A thousand swabs alone will cost approximately $10, which seems cheap until you remember the environmental impact. Taxpayers on the West Coast alone spend $500 million a year cleaning up plastic trash off their coastlines, so you'll pay more for it, without realizing it.

For a limited time, you can get three LastSwabs, with cases, for less than $9 apiece, a 30% discount. Or, for larger families, save even more with a six-piece bundle for 35% off. You'll not only save on swabs, but the money spent cleaning up oceans will also go further, helping to protect environments and save tax dollars in the long run.

And since you get three, you can either share them with the members of your family using swabs the most or keep all three for yourself and reduce your impact further. Either way, it's a win for the environment, your wallet, and your grooming, all in one.

Futurism fans: To create this content, a non-editorial team worked with an affiliate partner. We may collect a small commission on items purchased through this page. This post does not necessarily reflect the views or the endorsement of the editorial staff.

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