Volunteers are calling for help to clean up thousands of tiny plastic beads – or nurdles – littering Warrnambool’s Shelly Beach.
Volunteers have been spending hours at the beach this week with buckets and sieves collecting the nurdles, which are about 4 millimetres in diameter.
On Tuesday, Wannon Water said plastic beads had been disposed of illegally through Warrnambool’s sewage treatment system, which releases treated water into the ocean.
The authority said it would launch an investigation and report the incident to the Environment Protection Authority (EPA).
Warrnambool resident Colleen Hughson, who started looking into plastics at Shelly Beach and set up a Facebook page to coordinate efforts to clean up the nurdles, called for people to help.
She said thousands of the plastic beads had been found at Port Fairy’s East Beach.
“If you want to organise a clean-up in your community please post to the page,” Ms Hughson said.
“There is likely to be nurdles spread all the way along the coastline from Shelly Beach through to Port Fairy and possibly beyond.
“Please get down to your local beach with a sieve and bucket and do what you can.
“We'd appreciate it if you could let us know your findings via our Facebook page.”
The Facebook page – called Good Will Nurdle Hunting – is at https://www.facebook.com/nurdles3280/.