Plastic nurdle spill spurs creativity and care in the Warrnambool community

Positive projects from pollution: Colleen Hughson is creating pieces of art and jewellery using nurdles and Megan Nicolson is making baskets with plastic collected from local beaches. Picture: Rosana Sialong

Positive projects from pollution: Colleen Hughson is creating pieces of art and jewellery using nurdles and Megan Nicolson is making baskets with plastic collected from local beaches. Picture: Rosana Sialong

A few months ago, nobody in Warrnambool would have been able to tell you what a nurdle was.

Now an entire community has developed around the tiny plastic pieces that littered south-west beaches after making it through the Warrnambool Sewage Treatment Plant, sparking an emergency government response.

A movement of volunteers dedicating countless hours to sifting through sand to clean up the nurdles has led to greater awareness about the dangers of ocean plastics, and even art projects.

Warrnambool’s Colleen Hughson, who set up the Good Will Nurdle Hunting Facebook page to organise the efforts, said there had been a “tremendous” amount of good will.

Sustainable style: These earrings were made by Colleen Hughson using plastic collected from south-west beaches. Picture: Rosana Sialong

Sustainable style: These earrings were made by Colleen Hughson using plastic collected from south-west beaches. Picture: Rosana Sialong