On 29th January around 40 members of the public and members from the Rotary Club of Southampton West joined Hythe & Waterside Rotary at Lepe for their first Beach Survey of the year. As well as a general litter pick up, items found on a specific 100 metre stretch of the beach was recorded as part of the Marine Conservation Society’s national data.
It was a lovely day – dry and sunny, and at first the beach looked very clean. However, closer inspection found the usual pieces of plastic (of varying sizes) and minute “nurdles” as well as rope, glass, food wrappers etc.
Many of the Volunteers who had not taken part before were particularly interested in nurdles, not realising how many you can pick up if you look hard enough for them. A nurdle is a small plastic pellet used to create virtually anything plastic. From plastic bottles to automobile parts, they're widely used in plastic production. They are the raw material for everything that's made of plastic. Nurdles, microplastics which are less that 5mm in size, spilt on land at industrial facilities can float off down drains and ultimately, out to sea. Currents and wind disperse them and they are now washing up on beaches across the globe. Beaches along the Firth of Forth are accumulating them in worryingly large numbers.
So keep your eyes peeled for nurdles - we found over 200 on the sample 100 metre stretch of Lepe.
The dreaded Nurdle!
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We are unable to pursue our usual methods of fundraising to support local charities. We have decided the best way is, each month, to identify a local charity and ask for support. This month’s charity is Age Concern New Forestmore