The residents of Hout Bay have reported the presence of nurdles on its beaches. These microplastics have been found on several Cape beaches since an off-shore spill was reported in October.

Other beaches nurdles have been reported at include Muizenberg, Fish Hoek, Simonstown, Millers Point, Witsands, and Kommetjie beaches thus far.

Following an investigation, the City of Cape Town’s Environmental Management Department found that the nurdles may have been part of a container that was lost at sea, according to the Muizenberg Improvement District.

“It is suspected that a container (s) of nurdles was lost at sea near Plettenberg Bay. With the South East winds these are making landfall in large numbers in False Bay,” the organisation said.

“The City is working with the Shark Spotters and the Beach Co-Op in an ongoing clean up. The public is asked to drop any collected nurdles at the Muizenberg Shark Spotters office or with the Shark Spotter on duty at Fish Hoek. The collected nurdles will be recycled. “Beaches most heavily hit by nurdles are Fish Hoek, Glencairn and Buffelsbay in Cape Point. The City is trying to make more cleansing staff available,” they added.

Nurdles are tiny beads of virgin plastic that are melted down and injection moulded to make a variety of new plastic products. Nurdles threaten the marine environment as they easily make their way into the food chain when fish and other filter-feeding marine creatures mistake them for eggs and miniature jellyfish.

Picture: Hout Bay Organised/Facebook

Article written by

Lucinda Dordley

Lucinda is a hard news writer who occasionally dabbles in lifestyle writing, and recent journalism graduate. She is a proud intersectional feminist, and is passionate about actively creating a world which is free of discrimination and inequality.