Do You Really Need Those Plastic Cotton buds? Think Again!

Let us ask you a question first. Do you like turtles? Yes, those innocent marine animals that walk slowly and steadily and can even win a race against a mountain hare with their patience (in the folklore, of course).

You may be wondering why we are asking you this weird question. Well, these cute animals, who never harmed anyone, are slowly getting extinct. There are numerous reasons for it, one of the prominent ones being the dumping of plastic waste into the ocean. 

Cotton buds

Marine researchers have found plastic cotton swabs in the bodies of the turtles. While the turtles swallow them whole, bits and pieces are found in the bodies of seabirds and other marine animals.

No wonder the UK has banned the use of plastic straws and cotton buds in April! If the dumping of plastics into the marine waters doesn’t stop soon, we may end up saying goodbye to our dear turtle friends forever.

The tug-of-war between humans and others

The Earth seems to be stuck as the rope between humans and all other species in a never-ending tug-of-war game. While Mother Nature tries to teach us a lesson every time we cross the limit, we, the humans, never seem to stop with our mischief. She wakes up volcanoes, brings storms and floods to wash us down, but we tend to blackmail her emotionally and get our way every time.

Sometimes, a random thought pops in the mind – Do we ignore Mother Nature simply because we assume her to be a woman? What would we have done if it was ‘Father’ Nature? Would we have dared to break the rules then?

Just a thought! Anyway, the question is, do you really need those plastic cotton swabs? Now that we are thinking, it needs to be noted that this ban was necessary. Otherwise, who would have stopped to think about cotton swabs stuck in turtle stomachs, right?

Leave the turtle! The habit of including plastic in everything, from toilet paper packaging to cotton buds, gives out the message of ignorance to the industries that produce such items in bulk. Plastic is cheaper and can be easily produced using fossil fuels and other non-renewable resources. Increasing their importance and abundance in our lives gives out the message that we don’t care what happens to the planet after a few decades. And that, my friends, is not the right message to give out at the moment.

Is there an alternative to plastic cotton swabs? 

Of course! What else are we here for? To talk about turtles?

Well, yes, and no! We are indeed here to talk about the harmful effects of our day-to-day activities on Mother Nature, but also to find alternatives to prevent degrading the quality of life in general.

Anything that replaces plastic is welcome at the moment. You can go for more eco-friendly options, like wood, bamboo, glass, and even some widely-available metals to replace our eternal enemy – the plastic. The cotton bud has two parts, one of cotton (obviously) and the other, that stick, is made of plastic. We can easily replace the plastic in the bud with just about anything. It may be more expensive, but you don’t need to pick your ears with a swab every day. The cotton wooden buds have already hit the market and are doing great, thanks to the ban. If the wood is derived from bamboo, it is also quite affordable.

So you see? Finding an alternative is not as impossible as it seems. You take one step to preserve nature, and everything else fall in place. But that initial push (in this case, the ban), is not necessary every time.

Let’s start with baby steps. Make a mental note of changing one habit each day that involves plastic. Well, do not throw all the plastic stuff from your home at once. That will pollute your environment instead of preserving it. But you should work harder, be more environmentally-conscious and think of new ways to get rid of plastic not only from your home but also from the face of the Earth.

Let’s make our planet a better place for our children and theirs and theirs!

Also Read: The Bamboo Toothbrush – Your Next Best Friend