What is washing up in our waterways

Walking along my local South Coast NSW beach today, doing my local pickup I have decided to focus on one particular marine debris item each blog. Hopefully it will make some think about their actions, be environmentally conscious and be the change.

My data collection survey for Tangaroa Blue all found in the dry seaweed at the creek entrance of a south facing beach.

3 x Cigarette butts and filters, 25 x cotton bud sticks, 2 x straws, 1 x toothbrush, 7 x pieces of polystyrene, 30 x pieces of broken plastic debris, 1 x balloon string, roughly 10 metres fishing debris, 31 x pieces of plastic toys, party poppers, plastic lids and 1 x metal fishing item.

Cotton Bud Sticks

According to Fidra, cotton buds are the number one item of plastic, sewerage related debris found on beaches and rivers.  Apart from being aesthetically undesirable, cotton buds pose a health threat to marine life due to their chemical composition and physical structure. They can choke, strangle, pierce internal organs of marine life as they are entangled or mistaken for food. Additionally, the toxins coating them, then enter the food chain.

Although there has been numerous efforts to change consumer habits, by not flushing them down the toilets, a better solution has been for organisations to make cotton buds from alternative materials that are biodegradable (FSC Certified) such as paper. Fidra have created a Good Buddy List  of manufacturers who make cotton buds without plastic stems and are preferably FSC Certified.

The Good Buddy List

  • Cooperative Fairtrade Cotton Buds
  • The Body Shop Cotton Buds
  • M&S Collection Fairtrade Cotton Buds
  • Simply Gentle Organic Cotton Buds
  • Muji Cotton Buds
  • Muji Thin Cotton Buds
  • Essential Waitrose Cosmetic Tipped Cotton Buds
  • Essential Waitrose Cotton Buds
  • Organyc Cotton Buds
  • Johnson’s Cotton Buds

Good on you Johnson’s for making the change. Read the news article where highlighted.  Lets support those who support our environment.

City to Sea, 2016 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKQaC-2zJT0)

You can see the results of this petition at 38 degrees. Its the proactive change by a society of global citizens wanting to make the change . Our environment needs someone to take care of it and the change starts with our own habits.


Healthebay, 2010 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLgh9h2ePYw)