It was with interest that I read in the New Zealand Herald regarding the ongoing battle to limit the amount of plastic material entering waterways and eventually the ocean.
The article mentioned tiny plastic pellets “nurdles” which are less than 5mm in diameter.
These are the raw material that is used to produce plastic products. The article took me back to the early 1980s when I was installing the entire electrical system for my good friend Kelly Tarlton when he was constructing his aquarium on Auckland’s Tamaki Drive – Kelly Tarlton’s Underwater World, now known as Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life Aquarium.
We were in a ramshackle warehouse in Parnell, Auckland where large acrylic panels were stored. Kelly had a master plan as to how we were going to bend them to form the aquarium’s walk-through tunnel. I vividly remember seeing thousands of raw plastic pellets scattered all over the warehouse floor. A few of the bags containing these pellets had split. At the end of the day a storeman hosed down the floor directing the pellets to an in-floor waste water trap.
A few years later I heard that if you carefully examined the sand on the beaches of Auckland you would discover thousands of these near undetectable pellets.
Someone estimated that there away! The plastic pollution was locally generated. Locals did not seem concerned!
Mankind has a long way to go!
Editor at Large