Nurdle Hunt for World Ocean Day

Beneath the surface of the ocean, an insidious environmental threat looms — Nurdles. These tiny plastic pellets, often overlooked, are a major source of pollution, wreaking havoc on marine life and ecosystems, and eventually find their way to our shores. ProDive Plettenberg Bay took to the beach together with Natures Valley Trust and embarked on a Nurdle Hunt for World Oceans Day this year. Now, where do these Nurdles come from? In October 2017, about 49 tons of these pellets spilled into the ocean at Durban Harbour when a shipping container was knocked over. These Nurdles have been washing up on beaches along the coastline ever since, breaking down into smaller pieces and harming marine life.

These small, lentil-sized pellets serve as the raw material for nearly all plastic products. Due to their size and buoyancy, Nurdles easily escape during manufacturing and transportation, entering waterways and eventually reaching oceans and washing up on shores. Once in the marine environment, they are mistaken for food by various marine life, from fish to birds. Ingesting Nurdles can lead to malnutrition, starvation, and even death in these creatures as the plastic fills their stomachs, leaving no room for actual nutrients.

A tedious task of collecting Nurdles on our beaches, remember every small bit helps. Volunteers equipped with sieves and buckets can collect and dispose of Nurdles properly, preventing them from being mistaken for food by marine life.