UNITED NEWS INTERNATIONAL (UNI) — Scotland is cracking down on ocean pollution.  

Lawmakers plan to pass legislation banning the sale and manufacture of cotton buds with plastic stems, making Scotland the first country in the United Kingdom to do so.

Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said, “Despite various campaigns, people are continuing to flush litter down their toilets and this has to stop.”

She said plastic-stemmed cotton buds are a big part of the problem.

They’re too small to be filtered by sewage systems and end up in the ocean and along beaches, where marine animals mistake them for food.

Environmental group Friends of the Earth Scotland said banning plastic-stemmed cotton buds would cut marine plastic pollution in half.

The BBC said the Marine Conservation Society and the Cotton Bud Project estimate a 100 meter stretch of beach in Scotland contains an average of 29 cotton buds.  

Lawmakers plan to seek public feedback on the proposed ban.