Plastic pellets, which are called nurdles, have been spilled along the KwaZulu-Natal coastline and pose a grave danger to marine animals and birds.

Durban - The nurdle spill currently stretching over more than 300km of KwaZulu-Natal shoreline, is likely to spread as far south as Port Elizabeth and north as Mozambique.

This is according to a joint statement from a clean up initiative involving civil society organisations, Plastic SA, and the CoastKZN portal which is managed by the Oceanographic Research Institute and is an initiative in collaboration with the KZN Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs.

With the nurdles currently spread from Richards Bay North Coast to Trafalgar on the South Coast, residents of KwaZulu-Natal's coastal towns were urged to rally in efforts to rid the beaches of billions of nurdles spilled in the #Durbanstorm.

The nurdles are a monumental problem because the worn down micro fragments block filter feeders and clog respiratory gills. If they contain additives then the toxicological aspects will take a toll along the food chains. Also, because they look like fish eggs, they can be eaten by birds and other marine animals.

Since the spill three weeks ago, nurdles have washed up on the beaches of Mtunzini at Umlalazi Nature Reserve. A 25kg sealed bag containing tens of millions of nurdles was also found.

To register for the clean up campaign click on the link :

The Mercury