Widgetized Section

Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone

Super Nurdle to the rescue! Teacher turns plastic beach waste into message of hope

Story posted on

A TEACHER from Frome has written a children’s book with an environmental message about microplastics and plastic pollution, encouraging readers to reduce their use of single use plastics.

The book is titled ‘Nurdle’ and has been created and written by Claire Vowell, a primary school teacher of 20 years. It also features illustrations by Frome local Jo Joof.

Inspiration for the book came for Claire when she took part in a beach clean organised by marine conservation charity Surfers Against Sewage.

“I found the beach was inches deep in nurdles – tiny pre-production micro-plastics that are used in plastic production – and plastic pollution as far as the eye could see,” said Claire. “Kneeling in the nurdles left a lasting impact and gave me a determination to make a difference.

“The nurdles cannot be recycled as they are mixed plastic, so even once collected from beaches they end up in landfill. 

“Sharing the resulting photos and explaining what nurdles are, how they get on a beach and how they can be removed, with my year 3 class and children in other schools, led to the birth of Nurdle, first as a stuffed toy and then a book character!

“Nurdle is a lentil-sized microplastic. He really wants to be useful, but he is not being cared for properly and this is making him really sad.  He is getting in all the wrong places, causing BIG problems in the environment.

“Nurdle is a really engaging character and children quickly identify with his problems.  He describes, in a gentle rhyming text, his journey from factory to the ocean and shares some of the things that have happened to him and his friends.

“This book helps children to understand the problem of micro-plastics and the devastating effect they can have in the sea.  It explains what they are, how they get into the sea and how small acts can make a big difference.

“Children are very aware of plastic pollution, such as bags, bottles and straws, and know that many of these break down into smaller pieces in the ocean, but many of them have never heard of nurdles and primary microplastics. 

“The book celebrates the effort made by everyone, whether tiny or tall, and ‘Super Nurdle’ asks all children to make a difference by reducing, reusing and recycling and making sensible choices about what they buy.”

A crowdfunder was launched by Claire this month to raise enough money to print 500 copies of the book – and thanks to her supporters and a grant from NatWest bank – ‘Nurdle’ will soon be available to buy.

Claire said, “I’m so excited that my dream of publishing ‘Nurdle’ has become a reality, and I’m excited to take the message of the book into schools and share it with children.

“I have a stall at the Frome Independent Market, where ‘Nurdle’ will be available to buy – and I hope to have it on sale in local independent bookshops too.”

A percentage of the profits from the book will be donated to the Marine Conservation Society and Surfers against Sewage.

For more information and for updates, follow Claire’s Facebook page, ‘Sea Born Designs’, where she also sells  jewellery and artwork made from plastic found  during beach cleans. www.facebook.com/seaborndesign

Pictured above: Claire Vowell with ‘Nurdle’, the lead character from her book, and artwork produced from plastic waste found at the beach.

Below: Frome illustrator Jo Joof.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *