Category Archives: nurdles

creatures of the storm

Tempestuous storms have dictated the mood of Happy Beach for most of 2016. Possibly just reflecting the turbulences taking place in the rest of the world. We see a few days of calm followed by breath-taking roaring waves, high winds, rain and unusual cold.

fishing stuff

Naturally the beach is strewn with all shapes and sizes of litter. The largest was the top of a wooden cable spool (1m diameter), and a heavy rope/ fishing net tangle.
The smallest were sadly thousands and thousands of nurdles, shaping the contours of the waves along the beach after the sea settled. These little demons are toxic, dangerous and impossible to collect.


On a lighter note the storms have brought new creatures to the beach. As of yet they are friendly but you never know…

lady of the sea

aqua gent

The storm collection:

* 12 screw tops
* lighter
* 1 small toothpaste tube
* 103 bottle tops
* 16 plastic bottles
* Rope & string (all colours)
* 2 aluminium cans + bits
* assorted plastic bits
* styrofoam pieces
* corner of a garden table
* 3 heels
* 1 comb
* 2 syringes
* 2 detergent bottles
* 2 sponges
* Lure (yellow fish)
* 1 toy shoe
* 20 plastic bags
* 2 plastic cups
* 6 fishing floats
* fishing line
* 6 pegs
* 3 ghost fishing nets
* 2 yogurt pots
* 1 toy soldier
* 18 straws
* 1 baby shoe
* 1 beach shoe
* small spoon (plastic)
* 10 sheet of thick plastic (used locally for greenhouses)

* 10,2kg plastic lifted off the beach

bad hair day


You never know what you might find..

Calm has settled on Happy Beach with the arrival of the full moon. Beautiful sun and lazy waves kiss her shores. New arrivals of debris also are manageable, yet always seem to include a fair amount of plastic bottles. As the winds have died down I was able to address the nurdle problem further along the seaside. Filtering the organic matter from these tiny beads of plastic requires huge amounts of patience and a good sieve (on my wish list!)… Then this arrived…

palet and molly

* 1 EUR Pallet
* 8 plastic bottles
* 1 bag of plastic, styrofoam & aluminium – bag found on the beach
* 2 mini cars
* Yoghurt tub full of nurdles and tiny bits of plastic
* 2 buckshot

full moon

So many Mermaid’s tears….

Today I needed encouragement and decided to think back a couple of weeks to when we returned home from our trip abroad to a less happy beach covered in an upsetting amount of debris. Though it goes against my normal ideals I think in this case a set of “before” and “after” picture might be interesting to view.

before after again

The reason for this feel-good flashback was the discovery of a very disturbing phenomenon further down the beach. Clusters of “nurdles” (also called Mermaids Tears) mix with organic matter to form little islands on the shore. The nurdles are highly dangerous micro bites of plastic. When they end up in the sea they often become mistaken for food by fish and birds – and finally we also consume them. After an hour in the sands I only managed to collect a small yogurt pot full of these cretins. There are 100.000s more. So whilst the big picture might look more pleasing a serious threat to our wildlife is still in plain view – small but deadly. Enough to bring tears to the eyes of mortals and mermaids alike.


Collection of the day:

* 1 small yogurt pot of nurdles 😦
* 1 bag of assorted plastic, styrofoam, aluminium
* 1 plastic canister (5l)
* 1 micro plastic arm
* 1 micro monkey head
* 2 bits of pipe
* 15 bottle tops