A group of litter pickers and environmental activists headed down to Weymouth Beach with professional equipment to clean up nurdles and microplastics.

Following a report in the Dorset Echo, that local litter picker, Brian Hallworth had noticed ‘more nurdles and microplastics than ever before on Weymouth Beach,’ a team from Clean Jurassic Coast decided to bring a specialist nurdle vacuum down to the coast and start a cleaning process.

Roy Beal, founder of Clean Jurassic Coast was joined by eight-year-old local girl Hali-Rai Green and her mum, as well as Emma Teasdale and Emma Jackson from Litter Free Dorset.

Between them, they all had a go with the nurdle vacuum, created in collaboration with Karcher, which acts in a similar way to a garden vacuum, sucking up nurdles and microplastics and separating them from the sand.

Dorset Echo: Hali-Rai Green (front). Left-right: Emma Jackson, Emma Teasdale and Roy BealHali-Rai Green (front). Left-right: Emma Jackson, Emma Teasdale and Roy Beal (Image: Hollie Carr)

They also brought along some more standard litter picking equipment including, gloves and a sieve.

Roy said: “Every time that I hear there is a problem somewhere, I will always try to come and help. We can recycle all the plastics and nurdles that we find today as well as any fishing nets. I will take it to a place in Exeter which will recycle it into garden furniture.

“A lot of the plastics that we find come from the fishing industry and the shipping industry.”

He explained how important education is when tackling issues regarding microplastics and nurdles, adding: ‘Picking this up is like sticking a plaster on a wound – you are not getting to the cause of the wound - we need to show people the cause.’

Nurdles are by definition a microplastic because they are less than 5mm in size and are melted down and made into many plastic items.

Roy added that using reusable bottles and coffee cups is a great way to start and that ‘people need to be a lot more mindful.’

Dorset Echo: RoyRoy (Image: Hollie Carr)

The environmental activist tries to get out whenever he’s not working, and so far this year, the team at Clean Jurassic Coast has managed to collect one tonne of plastic waste from beaches.

He got into beach cleaning because ‘the more he saw, the more he found himself removing from the beaches and the more he wanted to do something about it.’

Keen nurdle hunter and environmentalist Hali-Rai said: “I like to do this because we can help the planet. I started picking up litter down the Marsh and I go out a lot to do it.”

The youngster has also won a few awards for her efforts including the Mayor’s Award for Litter Picking, the Litter Free Dorset Win on Waste Junior Recycler Award and Weymouth Town Council also made her a Junior Park Warden.

Dorset Echo: Roy and Hali's nurdle collectionsRoy and Hali's nurdle collections (Image: Hollie Carr)

Hali-Rai likes to collect nurdles and microplastics in the colour order of the rainbow – starting off with red pieces especially when she’s on a beach walk with her mum and dog.

Emma Teasdale of Litter Free Dorset said: “Our mission is to reduce litter at the source and improve bathing water quality. When we heard about this we thought we would come down and lend a hand.

“It’s really great to have Hali-Rai here who is part of the next generation of environmentalists and it’s really important that everyone can make a difference.