Innovation That Matters

LastObject has developed an alternative to the 1.5 million cotton swabs that are produced each year | Photo source LastObject

Eliminating single-use items – one swab at a time


A Danish company is developing reusable replacements for some of the most common single-use items

Spotted: A straw with our iced coffee, a plastic bag to carry a takeaway meal, the wrapper on a candy bar, a cotton swab – individually, these may seem like small items, but cumulatively they had up to a mountain of single-use plastic waste. In fact, globally, around 150 million tonnes of plastic is used each year on single-use items. Danish start-up LastObject wants to tackle this with sustainable, reusable alternatives to single-use items.

The company was founded in 2018 and the following year launched its first product – a recyclable cotton swab. Each one can keep more than 1,000 cotton swabs out of landfills. Since then, the company has added a number of reusable versions of everyday single-use items, including reusable cotton rounds, tissues, and face masks.

LastObject has recently received an infusion of €2.7 million in funding from The Footprint Firm, investor Jacob Wolff-Petersen and Danish growth fund Vækstfonden. The money will be used to scale the business, increases sales and marketing and develop new multiple-use objects.

LastObject CEO Kristian Pitzner-Jørgensen, pointed out that the idea is to make it easier for people to make small changes, that all together can amount to big improvements, “Every day, 1.5 million cotton swabs are produced worldwide, and as consumers, we have, so far, not questioned our use of disposable products. But luckily it is about to turn around because more and more people want to do away with the ‘throwaway’ culture. We are confident that in five years’ time we can look back on a development in which we have contributed to creating a real decline in the use of disposable products across the globe.”

Reducing plastic consumption is just one of the ways in which companies and consumers are getting more serious about sustainability. Some other recent innovations we have seen here at Springwise include a platform that helps brands minimise their plastic footprint and a packaging design that makes it easier to separate plastic from paper. 

Written By: Lisa Magloff



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