Cotton swabs are essential products in the daily routines of millions of people; over 1.5 million cotton swabs are made every day, and that means billions of them are used and thrown away every year. While most of them end up where they belong – in the landfill – many of them just end up in the ocean, contributing hugely to marine pollution.

That’s a problem, for sure. But as it turns out, there is a solution – a reusable cotton swab named the LastSwab.

Yes, we were also quite surprised by the idea of a reusable cotton swab…if not a bit nonplussed. How on Earth does a reusable cotton swab work?

And isn’t that just kind of…gross?

Maybe not. These aren’t necessarily made for cleaning out your ears – even if most of us do end up using swabs for that purpose. The LastSwab is made from a stiff, strong nylon rod, with soft, flexible medical-grade silicone swabs at the end.

These swabs can used just like you would use a regular cotton one, and then washed out thoroughly…and used again, eliminating an average of 415 cotton swabs per person, per year.

The LastSwab comes in two models; the Standard and the Make-up model. Each comes in a compact and handy carrying case to keep in clean when not in use

Ingenious? Definitely. Will it catch on? We’re not sure…but it did so enough to get over 16,000 backers and $585,000 on Kickstarter, so that’s a start. A set of 2 LastSwabs starts at DKK 137, or about $20.

If you feel strongly about sustainability and don’t mind washing this thing out after each use, we can’t see any reason not to try one out.

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