‘Plas­tic pel­lets found at 73% of UK beaches’

The Press and Journal (Highlands & Islands) - - News - BY EMILY BEAMENT

A search of hun­dreds of beaches across the UK has found al­most three-quar­ters are lit­tered with tiny plas­tic pel­lets.

The lentil-sized items, known as “nur­dles”, are used as a raw ma­te­rial by in­dus­try to make new­plas­tic prod­ucts.

But searches of 279 shore­lines in spots rang­ing from Shet­land to the Scilly Isles have re­vealed 205 (73%) of the sites con­tained the pel­lets.

The largest num­ber, recorded in the GreatWin­ter Nur­dle Hunt week­end in early Fe­bru­ary, were found at Wide­mouth Bay, Corn­wall, where 33 vol­un­teers from the Wide­mouth Task Force col­lected about 127,500 pel­lets on a 100m stretch of beach.

Over­all, more than 600 vol­un­teers took part in the ini­tia­tive, or­gan­ised by Scot­tish en­vi­ron­men­tal char­ity Fidra in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the En­vi­ron­men­tal In­ves­ti­ga­tion Agency, Fauna & Flora In­ter­na­tional, Green­peace, theMarine Con­ser­va­tion So­ci­ety and Surfers Against Sewage.

They are one of the main sources of “pri­mary mi­croplas­tics” – small pieces of plas­tic which have not come from larger items bro­ken down into lit­tle bits – in Euro­pean seas and can cause dam­age t o w i l d l i f e , such as birds and them.

Re­sults from the hunt, which was backed by lo­cal com­mu­nity groups and char­i­ties, will be fed into the gov­ern­ment’s con­sul­ta­tion on mi­croplas­tics, look­ing at ways of tack­ling the prob­lem.

Madeleine Berg, projects of­fi­cer at Fidra, said she was­de­lighted so­many nur­dle hunters took part.

She added: “The in­for­ma­tion we’ve gath­ered will be vi­tal to show the UK Gov­ern­ment that pel­lets are found on beaches all around theUKand, im­por­tantly, that so many peo­ple care about the is­sue.” fish which eat

“The in­for­ma­tion will be vi­tal to show how many pel­lets are found on beaches”

ICON: An an­i­ma­tion of a stag is pro­jected on to Na­tional Gal­leries of Scot­land build­ing to high­light its bid to buy The Monarch of the Glen

Tiny plas­tic pel­lets found at a beach in Newquay

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.