Coast KZN

20 Oct 2017

Nab some nurdles and save our beaches

Wanda Daly ( Berea Mail) Picture: Collecting nurdles are Robyn Locksley and Buck Wildew.

The plastic pellets have landed on the beaches as a consequence of last week’s storm and the extremely rough seas and pose an environmental hazard.

uSHAKA Marine World is calling on all Durbanites to head to our beaches and help clear up a potential environmental hazard following the recent storm.

Currently, according to Sea World’s Jone Porter, the beaches are infested with billions of small plastic pellets known as nurdles.

These plastic pellets have landed on the beaches as a consequence of last week’s storm and the extremely rough seas.


Seven year old Lesego Mosisidi who is on holiday from Soweto helps collect nurdles.

Each small granule is half-moon shaped.

The specific particles that have washed up on Durban beaches are actually an industrial raw material.

They 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 do absorb pollutants such as PCBs and organochlorine pesticides which are extremely harmful to both marine life and humans if consumed.

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.


Brenda Modise and Portia Rasemetse who are on holiday from Vereeniging with the nurdles they have collected.

In light of this serious threat, uShaka Marine World is not only asking residents to help clean these harmful nurdles off our beaches but is also providing clearly labelled bins at collection points into which beachgoers can deposit any nurdles collected.

“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 minimizing the long term damage to our beaches and marine environment. If we all work together, we can help clean these nurdles off our beaches,” she said.

Drop off points for nurdles are: uShaka Ticketing, Surf Riders, Afros, Wedge Beach Lifeguards and California Dreaming. uShaka Sea World will collect the nurdles for disposal.

Contact Jone Porter at uShaka Sea World on 031 3288222 or 083 283 9265.


Online Article