Nurdles seem to have hit beaches all over the world and it is important to know what they are, what they are doing and how to get rid of them!
Nurdles are small plastic pellets about the size of a lentil. Countless billions of them are used each year to make nearly all our plastic products. Over the last month, they seem to be plaguing the beaches across the UK and now here in South Africa too.
It is assumed that the nurdles came from a damaged container that fell off a ship during the Durban storms. This, however, is currently still unconfirmed. Right now the main concern is massive cleanup being arranged to make a huge dent in collecting the millions of nurdles spread across the east coast.
SAAMBR (South African Association for Marine Biological Research) sent out an urgent appeal for all beach-goers to try and assist in collecting as many of these pellets as possible over the weekend. Wildlands have managed to collect over 900 bags of these toxic pellets.
It is important these pellets are collected as our coastal wildlife are confusing it with food and ingesting the toxic nurdles. Clearly labelled bins have been placed at collection points into which beachgoers can deposit any nurdles collected.
“In the long term‚ the effect will be far more shocking. If these plastic pellets stay in the sea‚ they will break down into even smaller bits‚ and absorb toxins. These will be ingested by even more marine creatures‚ many of which end up on our plates.
Drop off point for nurdles are uShaka Ticketing, Surf Riders, Afros, Wedge Beach Lifeguards and California Dreaming. uShaka Sea World will collect the nurdles for disposal.
“Each cup of nurdles the public removes from the beach means a few more animals that are not going to die‚”
“They are small‚ so they need to be strained. We suggest shade cloth or a sieve.”
“It is not merely a provincial problem. It is now of national concern‚”
“Currently the nurdles are floating on the tide. They look just like food and are being eaten by birds‚ fish and turtles. These animals will face digestive obstructions.” – Jone Porter‚ director of education at uShaka Seaworld