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Justin Hoffman Photography 

A picture is worth a thousand words ...

see the  video about this extraordinary photograph.

The plague of cotton swabs - they're out there...

The Plague of Cotonetes is an APLM project launched at the National Meeting of Citizen Science that took place on October 24, 2017,  at the Thalia Theater in Lisbon

The aim of the project is to quantify the cotton swabs that accumulate on the sands of the beaches of Portugal, whether brought by the sea or  by the rivers and still in  result  discharges from Wastewater Treatment Plants (WWTP) when heavy rains occur or due to  malfunction.

In our activities of monitoring and cleaning beaches, we come across numerous cotton swabs, mostly just the stick, which as we know is generally made of plastic and therefore remains in the environment for a long time, maybe decades. In other cases, cotton is still present, with a clear connection with contaminated sanitary material and which can bring public health problems.  

Knowing how many cotton swabs there are on Portuguese beaches also sends the message that we must have  pay attention to our surroundings and do not persist in automatic gestures, such as throwing a cotton swab down the toilet and not thinking about the consequences.

It is urgent to change  habits.

There are already on supermarket shelves  cotton swabs made from cardboard and only slightly more expensive than plastic ones. IT'S  I also need the industry to stop manufacturing cotton swabs with plastic rods, and also  challenge to  engineering  for it to be developed  a system that retains the floating material when discharging from the WWTP.

Its about  a struggle on several fronts, which co-responsible  all stakeholders and in which citizens can easily participate by demonstrating  The  importance of the problem and  engaging in its resolution. 

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