BY: JESSICA BEUKER
In an environmentally-friendly move by Scotland’s Government, the country is looking to ban, both the manufacture and sale of, plastic-stemmed cotton swabs. The move would make them the first country in the U.K. to do so.
The hope is that the ban will cut down on the country’s contribution to ocean plastic, possibly even by half, according to The Guardian.
The ban comes following concerns about the number of cotton swabs being flushed down toilets, where they end up in oceans, and subsequently in the stomachs of marine animals and birds, or washed up on beaches.
It’s a photo that I wish didn’t exist but now that it does I want everyone to see it. What started as an opportunity to photograph a cute little sea horse turned into one of frustration and sadness as the incoming tide brought with it countless pieces of trash and sewage. This sea horse drifts long with the trash day in and day out as it rides the currents that flow along the Indonesian archipelago. This photo serves as an allegory for the current and future state of our oceans. What sort of future are we creating? How can your actions shape our planet? . thanks to @eyosexpeditions for getting me there and to @nhm_wpy and @sea_legacy for getting this photo in front of as many eyes as possible. Go to @sea_legacy to see how you can make a difference. . #plastic #seahorse #wpy53 #wildlifephotography #conservation @nhm_wpy @noaadebris #switchthestick
Many retailers have switched to biodegradable paper-stemmed swabs, but plastic still remains a large problem, especially since it is cheap to produce.
In addition to what countries like Scotland are trying to achieve, The Cotton Bud Project is an organization that aims to address concerns over plastic cotton swabs and encourage the industry to once and for all make the switch to biodegradable materials.
In order to help consumers understand exactly what happens when they dispose of cotton swabs down the toilet, The Cotton Bud Project has created the graphic below.