In October last year during a major storm, 49 tons made up of 2 billion plastic nurdles, were released into the ocean when a ship’s cargo was compromised during the storm. To date, only 13.39 tons of those nurdles have been recovered meaning there is still 35 tons of plastic from this single spill, still floating around in the ocean. Considering the ocean currents that wash our shores there is a possibility, although quite remote, that some of these nurdles could be washed up on our shores and thus Chanel Gemae Hauvet’s appeal, following an appeal f from Coast KZN sent to NSRI Stations around the South African coastline.
Nurdles are small plastic pellets about the size of a lentil. Countless billion are used each year to make nearly all our plastic products but many end up washing up on our shores. Spills and mishandling by industry can mean nurdles end up at sea. Our planets oceans are now accumulating nurdles in worryingly large numbers. Unlike large pieces of plastic marine litter, nurdles are so small that they go largely unnoticed. However scientists are becoming increasingly concerned about their effect on our delicate marine ecosystem as nurdles attract and concentrate background pollutants like DDT and PCBs to highly toxic levels and like other plastic, over time they just fragment into smaller and smaller plastic particles, are mistaken for prey by many marine animals and seabirds and enter the food chain..
Chanel’s post ……
“Hello St Francis, Paradise Beach, JBay an Oyster Bay
I would like to ask your assistance towards the conservation of our beautiful ocean and beaches. On October 10, 2017, there was a large Nurdle spill off the Durban coastline. Although most nurdles have been washing up along the Durban/KZN coastline, some wash up along ours too. Every nurdle collected counts thus this appeal.
Nurdles are very small plastic pellets used as raw material in the manufacturing of plastic products. They attract harmful substances such as pesticides, herbicides and other pollutants as well as heavy metals that end up in the ocean, therefore they are harmful to life and should not be ingested. They never break down!
NSRI stations across the South African coastline have received Nurdle bins from WildOceans (a programme of the WILDTRUST), whose mission is to help clean up the nurdle spill, that has now spread along the South African coast. WildOceans, along with the Department of Environmental Affairs and SAAMBR, have commissioned 300 bins to be distributed along the entire coastline, which are there for us as a community to use as a nurdle collection point.
NSRI Station 21 St Francis Bay has a bin located at their base and I urge everybody to do their part. The Wildside on Cape St Francis , up to Oyster Bay is a specific stretch of coastline in our area where we may find washed up nurdles. I urge you all, to please keep a look out for and contribute to the collection of these little pellets and to drop them off at our local Station 21. If any of you have any Nurdles to contribute you can get a hold of us on 071 381 8922 (Tony Myles),
Chanel Gemae Hauvet”
For more information visit http://www.coastkzn.co.za/nurdles?Theme=4