Over the last few days, people have reported nurdle sightings on the Onrus beach. Millions of these plastic pellets are being found in the sea and on the beaches, causing serious problems within the marine ecosystem.

Residents are being asked to find time to collect as many nurdles as possible‚ particularly from the high-water mark. They are tiny - around 2-5mm, which make it difficult to spot them. It is also quite difficult to pick them up and therefore it helps to take a sieve and container or packet with you when going for a walk on the beach.

They can be handed in at the Law Enforcement Safety kiosk, situated in the parking area. Please do not discard in Municipal waste bins, as these pellets will end up in landfills where they will become a problem to the scavenger animals that look for food.


1.    The nurdles do not disappear from the ocean as they do not dissolve or disintegrate completely.
2.    Nurdles soak up pollutants and become toxic.
3.    Marine birds and animals mistake nurdles for food and in this way, the nurdles enter the food chain.
4.    Marine animals and birds consume the nurdles, which do not digest and therefore fill the digestive tracts leading to starvation.

About nurdles

Nurdles have become a big problem in our oceans and on our beaches because of accidental spillage.

Nurdles are small, lentil-shaped pellets that are made of polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene, polyvinyl chloride, and others. These pellets are used to manufacture the majority of the plastic products that we use on a daily basis, from plastic bottles to oil pipelines. As they come in a variety of densities, the pellets may sink or float, depending on whether they are found in freshwater or saltwater.

Collecting nurdles

Below is a suggested equipment list and some examples of their use:

  • OLD JAM JAR: to keep you nurdle finds in and spread the word of plastic pellet pollution
  • SIEVE: to separate nurdles from the sand
  • BUCKET: to collect nurdle finds and other marine debris. Many (though not all) nurdles and microplastic will float in water, so a quick way to separate them from sand can be to simply put the collected nurdles, sand and debris in a bucket of water and scoop off the plastic fragments from the top placing them

Collection points

Drop your container off at the Tourism offices or the Fire Brigade


  • African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary (APSS) on 072 598 7117,
  • Dyer Island Conservation Trust on 082 907 5607
  • Designated wheelie bins in the parking areas at Silver Sand Beach and Stony Point Penguin Colony in Betty's Bay as collection point
  • A designated wheelie bin is placed at the Gansbaai Fynbos Centre near the Herbarium and the whale as collection point.
  • Please remember to mention exactly where they were found/spotted.





Contact Us

Hermanus 028 313 8000
Kleinmond 028 271 8400
Gansbaai 028 384 8300
Stanford 028 341 8500