Additive manufacturing has evolved from a pipe dream to a hotbed of innovation. Cotton-based filaments are appealing to 3D printers because they:
Conduct heat well
Get stronger when they're wet
Are more scalable than materials like wood pulp
Cotton Isn't the Problem with Cotton Buds
The skyrocketing amount of plastic trash is unquestionably a scary situation, and the calls to ban plastics straws and “cotton buds” are worth considering. However, note that in this context, "cotton bud" refers to the plastic stem, NOT the cotton swabs themselves. Also, many manufacturers have replaced the plastic stems with paper ones to minimise their environmental impact.
Talk about efficiency! Cotton occupies a mere 3% of the world's agricultural area -- yet it meets 27% of the world's textile needs. That's getting your fibre's worth! Globally, cotton's land use has remained relatively constant over the past 50 years, but the volume of fibre produced has increased. In other words, cotton growers are producing more cotton without planting on more land.
The people have spoken: Whether working or resting, cotton is #1! The majority of consumers say cotton is the best fabric for activewear, and more than 2 out of 3 say that 100% cotton sheets offer the best night’s sleep.
Although about 80 percent of the world’s production comes from Brazil, China, India, Pakistan, the United States and Uzbekistan, cotton is grown in more than 100 countries – and it provides an income to hundreds of millions of people around the world every year.