Public are urged to get involved with plastic waste monitoring campaign along the Antrim coast

The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council Councillor Sean Bateson, pictured at Ballycastle Beach with Environmental Resources Officer Janice Dunlop, is calling on members of the public to take part in ‘The Great Nurdle Hunt’ around our iconic beaches and coastline as part of the Council’s #LitterSmart initiative.

A COUNCIL has joined forces with Fidra, a Scottish based environmental group, to launch ‘The Great Nurdle Hunt’ around the Antrim coast.

Fidra shines a light on environmental issues, working with the public, industry and governments to deliver pragmatic, evidence-based solutions for a healthy environment and sustainable societies. Fidra developed The Great Nurdle Hunt, a citizen science project to encourage people in coastal areas to look for and record ‘nurdles’.

Nurdles are small plastic pellets which, when melted together, are used by industry to make nearly all our plastic products. They end up in the ocean, dispersed by currents and wind and are washed up on beaches across the globe.

The campaign wants to see if they are present on our coastline and then record the information as part of a global citizen science project.

Nurdles attract other pollutants and can be mistaken for food by sea birds and other marine animals. One fulmar found in the North Sea had 273 nurdles in its stomach.

The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough, Council Councillor Sean Bateson, said: “It’s really important we build up a picture of nurdles along our coastline as part of our other ongoing litter activity under our LitterSmart banner.

“We are excited to be part of the worldwide Nurdle Hunt movement and are grateful for the opportunity to work alongside Fidra on this initiative.

“Plastics have a significant impact on the overall health of our marine and coastal environments and there are a host of opportunities for everyone to get involved in making this place we call home better.”

Jasper Hamlet from Fidra commented: ‘We are delighted to have the support of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council and hope that many people can take part in The Great Nurdle Hunt along this beautiful part of the Northern Irish coastline.

“Taking part in The Great Nurdle Hunt is fun, easy and contributes vital data to our worldwide picture of nurdle pollution. All you need to do is head to a beach, look for nurdles and let us know how you get on by submitting your data on our website.

“The information we gather from nurdle hunters adds to the evidence of this form of pollution and supports our case calling for immediate action to prevent further loss of plastic pellets.”

The Council is appealing for volunteers to help carry out this vital research. Support will be provided so if you’re interested please contact: recycle@causewaycoastandglens.gov.uk or ring 028 2766 0248.

For more information on The Great Nurdle Hunt, please go to www.nurdlehunt.org.uk

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