The billions of small plastic pellets known as nurdles that have washed up on Durban beaches following the recent storm are an industrial raw material, Northglen News reports.
According to Sea World – uShaka Marine World’s Jone Porter, “the nurdles are re-melted and moulded in factories to make plastic products”.
“In themselves, they are not harmful. However, the bad news is that these plastic pellets or nurdles absorb pollutants such as PCBs and organochlorine pesticides which are extremely harmful to both marine life and humans if consumed,” she said.
What’s more, the nurdles never disintegrate but merely break down into smaller and smaller fragments. Both the nurdles and the toxins they have absorbed can enter the food chain as they are eaten by fish and other marine animals.
“Thousands of hands are needed to collect these along the drift line over the next few days. So, take nets, sieves, colanders, spades and buckets, go down at low tide and try and clear as much of it as you can while it is still new. It makes for a little work out while enjoying a fun outing but will go a long way towards minimising the long term damage to our beaches and marine environment. If we all work together, we can help clean these nurdles off our beaches,” said Porter.
Clearly labelled bins are placed at collection points into which beach goers can deposit any nurdles collected. 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.
– Caxton News Service