Coast KZN

22 Jan 2018

Medical waste, nurdles wash up on Durban beaches

The Mercury Picture: Photo: Rescue Care

The beachfront’s large waves on Sunday evening – while bringing destruction – also washed up numerous pollutants including medical waste and plastic pre-production pellets.

The waves also claimed the life of a small child who had been washed off the pier.

Tactical Shooting Team’s Rivaaj Ramdas – in a video shared by Bilal Moolla on YouTube shortly after the incident – warned bathers to steer clear of the beachfront area near Joe Cools owing to the debris, including what appears to be syringes and other medical waste.

Wild Ocean’s Rachel Kramer told The Mercury that her team – which includes the east coast Department of Environmental Affairs, Working for Coast, DRIZIT/RESOLVE Marine Group, and the KZN Waste Network – had anticipated that nurdles – the plastic pre-production pellets washed out to sea during Durban’s epic storm on October 10, 2017 – would be washed onto beaches as a result of the waves.

Kramer – who is also nurdles clean-up co-ordinator – said that operations to remove the pellets would continue.

The team had so far collected more than seven tons of them.

The eThekwini Municipality said in a statement that the North Beach bathing area and pier remained closed as clean-up operations continued.

“No infrastructural damage has been reported. It is anticipated that the cleanup operations will be completed by the end of (Monday).”