Sea the danger
Ilona Amos is correct to ques- tion the poor state of our oncepristine sandy beaches and the effect nurdles are having on marine biology (15 October). However, I do wonder why we, an environmentally aware society, have only just woken up to the dangers of polluting our seas and rivers.
Nurdles may sound like beastly creatures from a Harry Potter sequel; they are, in fact, small plastic pellets that are threatening marine and human biology more than any disruptive predator could attempt to do. My great grandfather, writer and geographer John Francon Williams FRGS, in his historic and groundbreaking book Geography of the Oceans, published in 1881, emphasises how fragile planet earth is and explains how the oceans are both destructive and reproductive and that the land actually encroaches on the water. He also believed “the present ocean is but a vast workshop, where the materials of future continents are elaborated and preserved”.
That a man of so little scientific means could come up with such a warning 136 years ago proves how slowly we have progressed with regards to environmental issues since my great grandfather’s day.