Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Plastic Nurdle spill in Hong Kong - Reasons for concerns and urgency

There are three main reasons for the urgent concern regarding the spill of Plastic Nurdles in Hong Kong:

1. There are currently between 5 billion and 20 billion Plastic Nurdles either missing in the seas of Hong Kong or washed up on our beaches or shorelines.

2. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency - Spilled Nurdles and other small pieces of plastic are eaten by fish, birds and other marine life. The plastic does not break down quickly, displaces food in the animals' stomach, and can lead to starvation. See a Rainbow Runner below with plastic, including a discoloured Nurdle recovered from its stomach. The Nurdle is in the left hand corner of the picture (Courtesy: Dr Markus Eriksen - www.5gyres.org)


3. Nurdles suck up persistent organic pollutants (POPs) like DDT and PCBs from the surrounding waters, and themselves become a toxic hazard, which if consumed by wildlife, can kill the animal eating the Nurdle or the toxic hazard can be passed further up the food chain, to animals such as dolphins and porpoises and ultimately to humans. The following photograph shows the various stages of toxic absorption by Nurdles. The change in colour represents the absorption of toxins. The darker the Nurdle, the more toxic it is. These were collected at Sam Pak Wan, Lantau, Hong Kong on 3 August 2012:








1 comment:

  1. 你好,就近日塑膠原料事件,好多自願者到大嶼山,東澳等地海岸進行清潔,我知道各政府部門已經全力進行清理工作,但外判工人手有限,既然有大量市民出心出力,希望你們也可以協助義工,自願者提供接送船隻,因為好多地方太遠,又要行山涉水,如果有船隻直到海灘會方便好多,而且可以的話提供大量食水如自願者食用。以及派注醫療扶助隊,因為唔小人受傷。

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