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Nurdle clean-up continues and pressures national maritime administrations

Lifesaving clubs and individual participants have been hard at work collecting and disposing of nurdles (lentil-sized plastic pellets melted to form plastic products) at Drumpal drums located at lifesaving clubs along the South African coastline. Picture: Supplied by Litter4Tokens

Lifesaving clubs and individual participants have been hard at work collecting and disposing of nurdles (lentil-sized plastic pellets melted to form plastic products) at Drumpal drums located at lifesaving clubs along the South African coastline. Picture: Supplied by Litter4Tokens

Published Dec 27, 2021

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Cape Town - Lifesaving clubs and participating individuals are ramping up their nurdle collection efforts for the Litter4Tokens Nurdle SA Clean-Up Competition.

The campaign seeks to reduce the impact of nurdles on marine life, while Nurdle SA continued their appeal to change the Osha (Occupational Health and Safety Act) Hazard Communication Standard and IMDG (International Maritime Dangerous Goods) Code for nurdles.

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With only two months left till the end of the competition hosted by Litter4Tokens in partnership with Lifesaving South Africa and the Centre of Regenerative Design and Collaboration, lifesaving clubs and individual participants have been hard at work collecting and disposing of nurdles (lentil-sized plastic pellets melted to form plastic products) at Drumpal drums located at lifesaving clubs along the South African coastline.

“Nurdle pollution is a huge problem, almost every beach I travel to around the world has these environmentally disastrous pieces of plastic on them. The work that Litter4Tokens is doing to try to clean these things up is fantastic,” said South African big wave surfer Grant “Twiggy” Baker.

Lifesaving clubs and individual participants have been hard at work collecting and disposing of nurdles (lentil-sized plastic pellets melted to form plastic products) at Drumpal drums located at lifesaving clubs along the South African coastline. Picture: Supplied by Litter4Tokens

Litter4Tokens founder and Nurdle SA CEO Clare Swithenbank-Bowman said some shippers were unaware that they were transporting micro plastic nurdles, which were toxic, hazardous, and an “oil” in a different format.

Swithenbank-Bowman said besides nurdles’ hazardous nature, they were not packaged appropriately because plastic nurdles were currently not labelled as hazardous material as per the Osha Hazard Communication Standard and IMDG code.

“As a result, containers lost at sea release billions of non-biodegradable plastic pellets which devastate our ocean and marine life,” she said.

Nurdle SA has been pressuring national maritime administrations to change the Osha Hazard Communication Standard and IMDG Code for nurdles with urgency to prevent further destruction to marine life and ocean ecosystems, but so far no update has been given.

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WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) project manager Lorren de Kock said the Oceans and Coast branch at the Department of Environmental Affairs was working on this too and had representations on the issue at International Maritime Organisation discussions.

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Cape Argus

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