During Typhoon Vicente which hit Hong Kong on 23 July 2012 a container ship near Hong Kong lost 7 x 40 foot containers. Six of these containers were each loaded with 1000 x 25 kilogram bags of Plastic Nurdles (pre-production Plastic Pellets). Five of these containers have since been located, but one is still missing.
During Typhoon Kai Tak which hit Hong Kong on 16 August 2012, 80 full bags of Nurdles and many loose Nurdles washed up on beaches and shores from Mui Wo to Chi Ma Wan. See the photographs below of bags of Nurdles which washed ashore near Shap Long on Chi Ma Wan peninsula (Courtesy of Merrin Pearse at Coordinate4U). This suggests the missing container is possibly on the seabed in the vicinity of Hei Ling Chau. Searches have failed to find it.
If the container still contains part of its cargo, it is possible that full bags and loose Nurdles will leak from the container during future storm events, and these will wash up in the Mui Wo to Chi Ma Wan area. On the other hand, it could be empty by now, in which case there will be no future spills of bags or Nurdles. Irrespective of the containers status, the infrastructure is now in place to quickly and effectively respond to such a spill should it occur.
Bags of Nurdles washed ashore at Chi Ma Wan during Typhoon Kai Tak.