During the monitoring of São Martinho do Porto beach within the scope of the European Coastwatch Project we came across a large quantity of cotton swabs in the sand, which we initially thought to be lollipop sticks.
We investigated how they ended up on the beaches and found out that they came from the habit of throwing the cotton swabs in the toilets after their use.
Wastewater, as everyone knows, is sent to a Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP). In these plants, sometimes the sieves are too wide, letting small materials pass, which are eventually discharged into the sea.
These swabs turn into microplastics that lead to the death of many species of the marine fauna which ingest them.
We must change our bad habits for a CLEANER PLANET.
Do not put the cotton swabs in the toilet, but in the dustbin.