Biobeads and Nurdles - News and updates
Nov. 2022: Biobead clean-up at Uplyme Sewage Treatment Works
At our visit to South West Water's Uplyme Sewage Treatment Works in August 2022, we found biobeads littering the site, as did another group which visited the site in February 2019. (Prof. Philip Strange of Reading University wrote elsewhere about this visit).
Following that visit we wrote to South West Water to ask:
"What steps will SWW take to clean up biobeads littering the Uplyme Sewage Treatment Works and to prevent any future spillage of biobeads on the ground at the site (because these can escape into the local environment, the River Lim and, then into the sea)? When will this be done?"
We're delighted to report that South West Water have confirmed that they have "updated our processes for media replacement, to minimise the potential for biobeads to escape during this activity". They have also sent (21/11/2022) these photos (top and below) "showing the clean up works conducted at Uplyme STW. We dug out and replaced the gravel and cleared out the bund at the top of the site to remove any remaining beads."
Job done! Thank you to everyone involved.
Spring 2023: Biobead clean-up at Charmouth Beach
You can read all about the problem with biobeads at the mouth of the River Char and at Charmouth Beach on our Plastics page.
Once again, Prof. Philip Strange of Reading University has also written elsewhere about this problem).
In October 2022 we wrote to South West Water to say:
"Equipment is now available (as well as human volunteers) to help clean up biobeads (and nurdles) on beaches. Will SWW undertake a clean-up of biobeads on Charmouth Beach or finance a clean-up to be organised by the Lower Char Community Project in conjunction with Charmouth Parish Council?"
We're delighted to report that the company has written to say that "South West Water participate in regular beach clean events, alongside Keep Britain Tidy (KBT), and would certainly welcome involvement in one at Charmouth."
South West Water has subsequently confirmed that it will lead a clean-up event in Spring 2023 and is in contact with another organisation locally to hire the most appropriate machinery for that event.
Job underway! Thank you to everyone involved.