If the word “nurdle” conjures images of an annoying little girl that used to bully you for your tuck shop money in Primary school, you may have gotten a glimpse into the meaning of this word.
Nurdles are small, lentil-shaped pellets that are used to manufacture the majority of the plastic products that we use on a daily basis, from plastic bottles to oil pipelines. These toxic pellets, which are found floating in our oceans and washing up on beaches, are detrimental to marine wildlife as these sea creatures confuse nurdles for food.
Plettenberg Bay appears to be a hotspot for these pesky pellets as countless nurdles have washed up on the beaches in this region.
On World Cleanup Day, September 18, the Nature’s Valley Trust grabbed their buckets, took off their shoes and rallied the community, hosting a massive clean-up day to tackle the problem.
This year’s theme was “Connect and Collect,” with several eager individuals coming out to show their support.
“Everyone split into groups and took to the beach finding debris from the smallest nurdles to bottle caps, large glass bottles, shoes, and hundreds of cigarette butts,” the Nature’s Valley Trust stated on their Facebook page. The goal went beyond simply collecting rubbish but was geared towards getting people to think about their waste and how it’s disposed of, encouraging better habits for future generations in the process.
According to Ocean Blue Project, here’s what you can do to tackle the nurdle problem:
- Grab your buckets and head to your nearest beach.
- Find the high tideline (this is where you’ll find plastic pellets).
- Collect nurdles for 10 minutes.
Nurdles can be dropped off at your nearest collection point. In Cape Town, you can drop it off at the following spots:
- Muizenberg – Shark Spotters Info Centre at Surfers Corner
- Fish Hoek – Shark Spotters cabin on the beachfront
- Kommetjie Surf Shop – Unit 3, Swan Lodge, Kommetjie