Nurdles infest Durban beaches after big storm

(Facebook/SAAMBR)
(Facebook/SAAMBR)

Cape Town - uShaka Sea World is urging all beach goers in Durban to help them remove hazardous plastic called 'nurdles' after the recent big storm.

According to their education director Jone Porter, billions of the little pellets have found its way onto the beaches, posing a serious hazard to marine life.

Nurdles are small plastic beads that are used as raw materials when plastic products are made. By themselves they don't pose a threat, but they unfortunately absorb pollutants and pesticides that are harmful when consumed.

SEE: After effects of Durban storm stink up tourism at port

They also never disintegrate fully - they just break down into even smaller pellets, which can be consumed by fish and other marine animals, which can also end up in the human diet through seafood.

uShaka has asked locals to help clean up these hazards when they visit the beach, and has provided labelled bins at various points where they can deposit their 'treasure'.

“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," says Porter.

"It makes for a little workout 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.”

ALSO SEE: Durban storm sees 'increase in snake sightings', say KZN snake rescuers

After collecting the little death balls, you can dump them in bins at uShaka Marine World ticketing office, Surf Riders, Afros and California Dreaming restaurants, and Wedge Beach Lifegaurds. uShaka will collect the nurdles from these points and dispose of them safely.

You can also report nurdle sightings to CoastKZN, which is managed by Oceanographic Research Institute in collaboration with KZN's Department of EDTEA. Be sure to include photos, GPS reference and name of beach or estuary where spotted.

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