About Good Karma Projects
Good Karma Projects is an environmental non-profit organisation, founded by Starboard Ocean Ambassadors Albert Font de Rubinat and Jordi Oliva. Two surfers and engineers with a mission. The organisation focuses on the education and awareness of society about the impact of human activity in the environment.
Good Karma Projects’ mission is to inspire people to adopt a healthier and more respectful lifestyle. To create a positive impact on the planet.
TAKING ACTION – Plastic pellets
Good Karma’s roots are by the Mediterranean sea, that unknown for most people is considered one of the most polluted seas in the world right now. Sewage, oils, mercury, lead, phosphates and of course plastics.
At first glance, there is nothing abnormal to discover on the beaches near the Spanish city of Tarragona. Only when you take a closer look, the small plastic balls scattered in the sand become visible. They are no larger than three or four millimetres. The balls are white to transparent and hardly stand out from the light sand.
“The beach has been like this for years, when we were young we used to play with it, no one was questioning where all these plastic balls came from. Now, it makes us angry to find it on all our beaches and surf spots.”Good Karma Projects
In recent years there have been more and more plastic balls on the beach. Therefore, we decided to take action, the first thing was to quantify the problem. For this project in 2019 we teamed up with the Surfrider Foundation to count and analyse the plastic pellets. With the help of volunteers and hand sieves we calculated a density of 500 to 3,000 pellets per square meter. We estimated that there were 30 to 90 million pellets on the main beach (La Pineda). Environmental organisation Greenpeace drew up its own bill shortly afterwards and even came up with 120 million plastic balls that covered the beach of La Pineda.
This special plastic pollution has been a concern for a long time, because the beads are by no means garbage. They are the raw material for the production of all types of plastic products.
What Are Plastic Pellets?
Pellets, or nurdles as they are often called, are pre production plastic resin pellets. Essentially raw plastic before it has been made into end use items such as a plastic bags, bottles or toys.
You can find Plastic pellets on beaches and river banks all over the world – especially near plastic factories or large harbours.
Plastic manufacturers and logistics companies often lose plastic pellets during transportation and production. They can spill out from trucks, trains and shipping containers during transportation from manufacturing plants to factories. Spills can also occur during manufacture process within factories. As pellets are extremely lightweight and float in water they can easily end up in drains, rivers and the sea.
Sadly, once the pellets are lost it is extremely difficult and time consuming to remove them from the beach, river or ocean.
We now know, the solution comes from the manufacturing plants and transportation companies, and we are making them know. These companies are responsible for ensuring the safety of their product. They should be implementing best practices throughout their chain to minimise risk.
In 2018 the Good Karma Projects team sailed from the Spanish mainland to Mallorca to collect microplastics. Their goal was to collect data on microplastics pollution and raise awareness about the Mediterranean plastic pollution problem. The short-documentary MEDITERRÁNEAMENTE PLÁSTICO captures their expedition.