You may not think about it each day when you toss that cotton swab into the garbage after touching up your make-up or cleaning out your ears, but billions of people with the same habit create a massive amount of waste! Fortunately, designers from Copenhagen, Denmark have come to the rescue with a reusable cotton swab.

black reusable ear cleaner on a black towel in a dark bathroom

The LastSwab is potentially the last “cotton” swab you’ll ever need. Well, one of two anyway. The company offers the LastSwab for traditional applications and another one styled specifically for make-up.

Like your typical cotton swab, the LastSwab is two-sided, catering to a multitude of needs. It’s as easy to use as any other swab, and the company advises that you use the same caution. After use, simply rinse the swab under water with a bit of soap and store it in the convenient carrying case, which is provided. The cases come in a variety of colors to suit your preferences.

Related: Scotland to ban manufacture and sale of plastic cotton swabs

man cleaning ear with reusable swab

LastSwab is the result of a dedicated effort to reduce waste and damage to marine animals. According to the Kickstarter campaign, “1.5 billion cotton swabs are produced every single day, and the average American uses 415 cotton swabs every year. In the U.K., damage is evident: For every 100 feet of beach, there are nine cotton swabs. Let’s make single-use cotton swabs a thing of the past!”

woman applying makeup with reusable swab

The material is medical-grade silicone that is durable and strong yet delicate. Not only does this long-term solution eliminate immediate waste, but it reduces the emissions caused by the transport and repeated mass production of all sorts of cotton swabs. In a well-rounded plan to be friendly to the environment, the storage case for the LastSwab is biodegradable, and the package arrives in cardboard.

woman on a beach holding a red reusable swab

Although the idea of reusing a cotton swab might sound cringey at first, it’s not so different from reusing your toothbrush each day or eating off the same plate after washing it. Obviously, many people support the movement, with nearly 12,000 backers pledging over $400,000 toward the meager $13,319 goal on the current Kickstarter campaign, which closes May 16, 2019.

+ LastSwab

Images via LastSwab