Stop using plastic in q-tips/cotton buds

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Photograph: © Justin Hofman (https://www.justin-hofman.com/

Our oceans are becoming clogged with plastic. Estimates suggest that by 2050, there will be more plastic in the seas than fish, by weight. WHAT? That is appalling! A huge part of the problem is the one-use plastics, such as drinks cups, plastic cutlery, bottles, toothbrushes, wet wipes, packaging, or the plastic stems of q-tips or cotton buds.

It's not just ugly and disgusting to find plastic on the beach. Marine plastic pollution is seriously damaging the health of our oceans. From plankton to pilot whales, algae to albatross — no ocean life remains free from the effects of plastic waste, and it’s even found in the seafood we eat. We might not think that our everyday actions can make a difference. But they do. 

People are still flushing away cotton buds or q-tips in their toilets, and millions of them end up in the sea. The recent photograph taken by Justin Hofman, of a tiny seahorse with its tail curled round a plastic cotton bud, has provoked outrage and sadness, but let's not just cry about it. Let's do something to help!

Recently, all the major retailers in the UK responded to the demands of 157,000 people who signed a consumer-led petition, started by City to Sea: https://www.citytosea.org.uk/switchthestick/ (check out their powerful videos!) and have agreed to switch from plastic to biodegradable paper sticks for production of their cotton buds by the end of 2017. I believe that, if the UK can do it, then so can we here in Denmark. One step at a time, let's make our voices heard and demand better from our corporations - and ask them to change from plastic to paper in their cotton buds.



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