North East Fife’s MSP has secured the agreement of the Scottish Environment Minister Roseanna Cunningham to consider legislation to tackle the problem of plastic nurdles polluting the beaches of Fife. Willie Rennie pressed the Minister to step in when he raised the matter at Holyrood during environment question.
Nurdles are very small pellets of plastic which serve as raw material in the manufacture of plastic products. Mr Rennie was horrified by the volumes of nurdles discovered on Ruby Bay Beach in North East Fife during a volunteer beach clean. In February 2017 a search of 279 beaches around the UK found that almost three quarters of them were littered with the material.
Commenting Mr Rennie said:
“Ruby Bay Beach in North East Fife is polluted by hundreds of thousands of these lentil sized plastic beads. However, Fife is not alone is this epidemic. It is estimated that three quarters of beaches are polluted posing a serious risk to wildlife and the environment.
“Operation Clean Sweep works with industry to cut the spillage of nurdles but not every company handling the plastic is participating. Legislation needs to be introduced to make sure our beaches are protected through preventative measures.
“I am pleased the Minister has agreed to my request to consider the possibility of legislation to ensure that all companies handling these plastic beads participate in a scheme that works to prevent spillage. It is important that we do all we can to tackle this pollution which threatens our environment and wildlife.”