This now famous picture was published recently by National Geographic. It broke my heart, like it did to many other people, and we HAVE to stop doing this. So, cotton buds: we’ve all stuck them in our ears (I’m obliged to say ‘Don’t do that!’), they’re very useful for removing make-up, cleaning nails, and parents of little ones use them a lot. Seahorses, on the other hand, really don’t need them at all.
This is a very simple one to change, and we do it like this: STOP BUYING PLASTIC-STEMMED COTTON BUDS! That’s all. In fact, the plastic-stemmed ones are relatively recent. They always had paper/cardboard stems when I was a child, and it looks like the manufacturers are listening and going back to those. And they don’t cost any more than the plastic ones.
In the UK you can now buy own brand paper-stemmed cotton buds in Sainsbury’s, Asda, Waitrose, Morrisons, Superdrug, Boots and many other stores. I’ve checked. The most famous maker of buds – Johnson & Johnson – have also gone back to rolled paper stems (hooray!), and you can buy those pretty much anywhere in the world. There is only one problem. Almost all of these manufacturers put their lovely, newly biodegradable products in…wait for it…plastic or part-plastic containers! (*sigh!*)
Do we really need to see what’s inside the box? Couldn’t we have a cardboard container with a picture on it? I will happily believe that there are cotton buds in there and not razor blades. I am planning to write a series of letters to these people to say just that, because you never know, they might do it. I’ll let you know how I get on. You are also free to write to them yourself, by the way. In the meantime, why not use the empty cotton bud boxes for something else? They’re usually quite sturdy and are the perfect size to hold a bar of soap (see post Number 1). They even have lids to keep your soap dry.
On that note, here’s a maxim that I’ve just come up with (at least I think it’s original!). Ready?…
“PLASTIC – IF YOU CAN’T REFUSE, RE-USE!”
Feel free to share that one, but tell everyone where you got it from. Thank you. And remember, (disclaimer coming…) Don’t stick them in your ears!