About Josh and Hope...
Colleagues, best mates, and a couple.
We are just two people behind Nurdle with a complete passion for the environment. We sold our first Trommel in June 2018 and in the last 15 months things have gone berserk! We now have removed around 20,000,000 pieces of plastic from the environment and engaged with tens of thousands of people about microplastics. The last couple of years have been a rollercoaster ride, but two years we'll never forget. We've become world experts in our field and are soon to create a genuine solution to the plastic problem that has exploded into our lives and affects so many organisms around the world.
Nurdle manufacture and distribute microplastic removal devices called Trommels. These handheld devices couldn't be more perfect for dealing with confined microplastic pollution, or for small / medium sized beaches.
We have over 20 handheld Trommels dotted around the world now, with other manufacturing and distributing stations in South Africa and California. However, through the lifetime of Nurdle so far, we have seen an urgent need to create something bigger, more powerful and a bit meaner...
“ We need to create a machine that will allow us to be able to return the worst locations for micro-plastic, back to their original habitat. The problem is so bad at such locations it’s simply too large for handheld devices to deal with.”
In 2019 we're developing the worlds first viable machine to remove microplastic pollution from our beaches - for good.
Nano-plastics are described as plastics below 1mm in size. They're either derived from the breakup of larger plastic items or designed to be that size, like face beads and synthetic clothes fibres. These are ingested by all oceanic filter feeders and even microscopic plankton.
Micro-plastics are between 1-5mm in size. Again, they derive from the breakup of large items or they are designed to be that size. Nurdles are the building blocks of every plastic item. These pre-production pellets are extremely cheap, small and lightweight. So spillages are often ignored. An estimated 53billion nurdles escape into the ocean every year in the UK ALONE!
Biobeads originate from Waste Water Treatment Works (WWTW) and act as a filtration media. You can tell the difference between the two by the rough, crinkled edges of bio beads - to increase surface area. In some places, biobeads make up over 50% of the micro-plastic pollution we find.
There are also shards, which are always more angular and originate from larger plastic items that have broken up.
Finally, lots of polystyrene - mainly from cheap, single-use bodyboards that break on the first use.
Microplastics are a massive threat to birds that feed on the tideline organisms, as they look remarkably like maggots and sand hoppers. They're also a threat to fish and filter feeders, as they look like fish eggs floating on the water.
Macro-plastics are anything bigger than 5mm in size. This fraction can be anything from a chocolate wrapper to a 3-tonne fishing net. These almost always make their way into the ocean from our mismanagement of plastic waste and once in the ocean, will break up into smaller and smaller pieces. Macroplastics frequently entangle fish, birds, whales etc and also get ingested - plastic bags look like jellyfish, a turtles main food source.
The machine we are creating will be able to remove all plastic, of all sizes. This has NEVER been done before.
Why this will work...
Microplastics only occur in massive quantities on sandy beaches - they're the lightest things in the ocean as is sand. Microplastics keep moving along the sediment cell until they find a constructive sandy beach coastline where they accumulate.
On these sandy beaches they accumulate in higher quantities at the highest point on the beach. We call this the MicroPlastic Accumulation Zone (MPAZ). The highest point on a beach is at the spring tide mark next to a stream, or between two sand dunes. This is where we focus our effort on cleaning with both Trommels and big machines.
We don't clean the whole beach, as this could the destroy the ecosystem we're trying to conserve. We only clean the MPAZ.
The big machine development...
Phase 1: Create a machine that can remove micro-plastics from sand.
Phase 2: Enhance the machine and to remove pure plastic, with no organic material what so ever.
Phase 3: Enhance the machine to incorporate our nano plastic removal technology, allowing us to remove all of the nano plastics (tyre dust, clothes fibres, plastic smaller than a grain of sand) and polystyrene that we previously missed.
Thank you for taking the time to read through our project and for potentially pledging towards The Big Machine. If this crowdfunder is successful we will have the money to make this dream a reality with our engineers beginning in mid November, 2019. This is an all or nothing campaign, and if we don't get the full amount, we receive nothing.