The Plague of Swabs - Let's put the swabs on the map!
How to participate
Very simple! go to beach and on the tide line you will see that there are several items that the sea left in the sand, algae, sticks, and marine litter.
In this range, cover a known distance that you can measure in steps and pick up and count all the cotton swabs you find. Use an empty water bottle (which probably find also on this tide line...) and put it in there. If you make a mistake in counting, you will be able to count again in the end.
How to distinguish swab rods from lollipop sticks?
As you can see in the photos, the cotton swabs are thinner and have small marks (scratches) where it is placed the cotton.
Lollipop sticks are thicker and has only one hole, usually square, at one end
Why participate ?
Participating in this project is to help understand the reality of Portuguese beaches in the light of the quantities of cotton swabs and at the same time contribute as a citizen to the awareness and problem solving.
Numbers are important to give strength to measures that contribute to the reduction and prevention of swabs in the environment.
We already know there are many , but we don't know how many.
We know that quantities increase after heavy rains, but we still don't know how much.
Why do we put cotton swabs down the toilet?
IT'S I practice, they disappear from our sight and so the problem disappears as well. Not! at best the problem is transferred to the Water Treatment Plants Residuals that may or may not be removed, many end up on the beaches.
Why do they have to be made of plastic?
Using a cotton swab takes less than a minute but the plastic remains in the environment many decades. It is worth it? Of course not!
There are alternatives with card rods or of bamboo.