Whether you have set your sights set on Plettenberg Bay, Knysna, Hermanus or even Milnerton this December, you’ve most likely chosen a seaside location so you can spend as much down time as possible frolicking in the waters.
But if you happen to come across tiny pieces of plastic, either floating around or washed up on the shore, you might want to do your bit to save the environment.
After all, a healthy ocean means healthy people.
For those of you who have kept a close eye on the great nurdle disaster – the environmental calamity that occurred in October and likened to an oil spill – you might be well aware that it didn’t take long for the tiny pellets to reach the Cape’s shores.
Seems like someone should have used a reputable freight company to transport them.
Reports of nurdles on our shores started coming in around early November, as people spotted the plastic moon-shaped pellets at beaches such as Long Beach in Kommetjie, Strand and Milnerton Beach.
Although there is no definitive way of knowing that the source of these particular nurdles is the Durban travesty, we all might as well know what to do with the pesky little things once we have stumbled upon them.
It wasn’t long after that fateful day that the South African Association for Marine Biological Research sent out “an urgent appeal for beach users along the entire South African coast to try and assist in collecting as many of these nurdles as possible,” reports the Aquarium:
This is important not only to try to minimise the damage caused, but also to assist SAAMBR with essential microplastic research. They will be running a project over the next month to assess nurdle distribution on the beach and will be studying the stomach samples from local fishes to determine if nurdles are being ingested.
According to SAAMBR, the pellets will very easily make their way into the food chain of many marine species, which could easily mistake the tiny pellets for eggs or similar food. These nurdles can and do absorb pollutants like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and organochlorine pesticides, which are highly toxic to marine life and humans when consumed.
I mean, if going to the beach and just lying around isn’t your idea of fun, take a container with you and let the nurdle hunt begin.
Here’s how to go about your collection:
So what’s next?
Well, you’ll need to carry on being responsible and take your collection to your closest drop-off point.
Western Cape drop-off points:
You can see more information on drop-off points here.
At the end of the day, the best way to avoid situations like these is for people to use the best possible freight company when exporting their wares.
One local freight company with the expertise and buying power to get the best rates from A-rated underwriters is Berry & Donaldson. They ensure the best possible cargo cover for their clients at cost effective prices.
Of course that’s just a tiny part of what they do, because it really is a one stop shop for everything shipping related.
Here’s hoping those nurdles don’t mess your holiday vibes too much, and you get to enjoy all the frolicking your heart desires.
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