Category Archives: q-tip

paper - PVC - q-tip

the right cotton swab

08 07 11

In my country, most Q-tips come with a plastic stick – white or colored, opaque or translucent.

Q-tips with PVC stick

In the US I discovered an amazing invention: the paper stick.
[amusing historical fact: originally made of wood in the twenties, the sticks became paper in 1958, churned out by british machines that had been producing them for candies]

It seems so beautiful and minimal: just structural enough to be used once, fully compostable, no artificial colors, some even unbleached. Just fulfilling the need it was created for, no more, no less.

Paper stick Q-tips – photograph by DragonWoman

Made me suddenly realize the material overkill (‘unbreakable’?! – it’s a Q-tip!!) and polluting consequences of the former.

A huge environmental gap between 2 almost-identical objects, isn’t it?