Beat Plastic Pollution

Beat plastic pollution, hunt for nurdles – South Coast Herald

Mid South Coast residents are urged to play their part in the Litter4Tokens Nurdle SA Clean-Up Competition.

Litter4Tokens has partnered with Lifesaving South Africa and the Center of Regenerative Design and Collaboration (CRDC), to launch this initiative.

Founder Clare Swithenbank-Bowman hopes the clean-up competition will help address the devastating impact of nurdles, also referred to as mermaid tears, on marine life.

Nurdle collection drums have been placed at specific beaches throughout the country, including Scottburgh.

The competition, where participants can win some wonderful prizes by exchanging collected nurdles for tokens (towards prizes), started recently and will run until the end of February next year.

There will be monthly winners and an overall winner announced at the end.
To find out more about the clean-up and competition, visit
Locals can find their nurdle collection drum at Scottburgh Surf Lifesaving Club on Scottburgh main beach.

Those who wish to take part can pick up nurdles using a nurdle device, such as the mermaid tear catcher, if need be, and drop off nurdles in the collection drums, sponsored by Drumpal.

Morgane Pet of Scottburgh SLCit encouraged locals to be part of this great national initiative, as many people have been part of regular beach clean-ups in the area over the years.

“The club is happy to be onboard with a project that aims to help save the environment, and hopes others share similar sentiments in the ongoing battle to protect marine life,” she said.

Nurdles sifted out by using a mermaid tear catcher device.

People are requested to put only nurdles into assigned drums and not standard recycling bins.

“Once the drums are filled, they will be sent to Spilltech where the nurdles will be analysed and then collected by CRDC, where they will be converted into RESIN8 cement used to make bricks to build houses,” said Swithenbank-Bowman.

“The data collected will be sent to FIDRA, the Global Nurdle Foundation in Scotland which runs The Great Nurdle Hunt, dedicated to tackling nurdle pollution.”

Nurdles are lentil-sized plastic pellets made of polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene and polyvinyl chloride, among others.

They are shipped, shrink-wrapped in 25kg bags, on pallet bases to factories around the world that then melt them down to create plastic products.

“This microplastic is hugely detrimental to marine ecosystems and humans, as it quickly finds its way into the food system, leading to ulceration, starvation and death. It does not biodegrade and a recent discovery indicated that nurdles follow the same ocean currents as turtles, making the plastics particularly hazardous for these species,” said Swithenbank-Bowman.


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