Representatives from across the chemistry industry and supply chain showed up in force to support Operation Clean Sweep’s Great Port Phillip Bay Nurdle Hunt on February 8th.
Employees from LyondellBasell, Qenos, Covestro, BASF, Chemistry Australia, FBT Transwest and Qube pitched in alongside Tangaroa Blue Foundation, Westgate Biodiversity, Victorian EPA, Sustainability Victoria, local students and community volunteers to scour the banks of the Yarra River beneath the Westgate Bridge for plastic resin pellet (nurdle) waste. The hunt, which ran from February 8th – 10th, is a unique environmental initiative that has been especially designed to help map and reduce pollution from plastic resin pellets across the Port Phillip Bay Catchment.
During the nurdle survey and river clean-up, the group of 52 recovered over 1,500 nurdles and 52kg of litter from a 100 metre stretch of the Yarra River.
Heidi Taylor of Operation Clean Sweep Australia® said she hopes the event will encourage more industry members to sign up to Operation Clean Sweep® and stop the release of plastic resin pellets into the environment.
“It was encouraging to have such high participation in the field day at Westgate Park, which contributed not only to the data collected across the catchment over the weekend, but also to the Global Nurdle Hunt which took place throughout February."
“We’re hoping events like this will create even greater awareness of the causes of plastic pellet pollution and encourage more companies to take the simple steps to prevent nurdle waste entering our rivers and waterways.”
Covestro Australia’s Managing Director, Rebecca Lee said that her team were thrilled to participate in the event.
“Collaboration is the key to avoiding plastic leakage and Operation Clean Sweep® provides the tools and support for manufacturers, transporters and processors to take action” said Rebecca.
Plastic pellet contamination has a negative impact on people, the environment and the plastics industry at large. Plastic Pellets (also known as nurdles) are tiny beads of raw plastic that are used in the manufacture of plastic products. Nurdles currently find their way into Australia’s waterways and are often eaten by wildlife as they look like fish eggs.
The Great Port Phillip Bay Nurdle Hunt was funded through the Victorian Government's Port Phillip Bay Fund.