Public Lab Research note

commercial mesh box for filtering plastic nurdles from a river beach

by eustatic | November 03, 2020 01:01 03 Nov 01:01 | #24912 | #24912

Serena from GNO Pellet Clean Up developed a method for filtering hundreds of thousands of pellets from river sand and debris.

We've been focused on cleaning the lower Mississippi River beaches as long as the river is low. CDA CMG Bianca spilled a container, or 990 bags, of Dow Polyethylene pellets on August 2nd, 2020. But hundreds of thousands of pellets still litter the beaches as of this past saturday , Oct 31st. Clean up didn't begin in earnest until citizens called the Coast Guard on August 6th, and the local newspaper began reporting the lack of clean up on August 10th.

Serena is a leader in the Algiers group that had conducted the most cleanup, and has found a great device for sorting pellets from sand.

We've been wondering a source for this box, because it's been very useful for sorting new pellets from sand. Older pellets, which get smaller, do fall through, but most or all of the sand moves very quickly through the mesh, and the new, Dow Polyethylene pellets stay in the box.

We found a shallower version of the box (BOAXEL Mesh basket) we have on the Ikea site, we'll see if this works the same once we order one.

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sweeping the river tide line, there's also a lot of coarse material (largely driftwood and willow branches and leaves) image description

In ten minutes, we collected many many nurdles, just using three brooms and dustpans. Sweeping the beach, and filtering the dustpan through the mesh box.

Still working on counts, will update this note.

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Chalmette 10 minutes::

Stock out of the dustpan:


a lot gets filtered right away:


Sand is left:


and then wash the nurdles in a smaller sifter:


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After this, use a pill counting table to sort plastic from the wood and organics, as well as styrene or other plastics.

@eustatic do you have a link or image for a pill counting table? Thanks!

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Actually, I now think it's the ALGOT basket, which is discontinued. hopefully, the mesh is the same

@bhamster @mimiss perhaps an opportunity to look into custom design with someone? How cool would that be! And a laundry basket nonetheless!

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The Alera mesh box has the handles, also, And the mesh is between 1/8" and 5/36", so it's likely metric, like we need

Here's a nurdle patrol wishlist

@eustatic The links for these don't seem to work...hmm.

sprry about the first , but my wishlist is now public

What a great idea for the upcoming festive shopping season! I think a few community groups should take your lead and make a wishlist too!

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