A North Devon couple have launched a crowdfunding appeal to build a machine that will help remove plastic of all sizes from the world’s beaches.

Josh Beech and Hope Buck of Nurdle. Picture: Tony GussinJosh Beech and Hope Buck of Nurdle. Picture: Tony Gussin

Joshua Beech and Hope Buck of Nurdle have already created hand-powered trommels that remove the micro plastic menace called nurdles from sandy beaches - but they have greater ambitions.

They are in the process of developing a machine they say will remove every scrap of plastic from the sand - ranging from tiny 'nano plastics' through to micro and 'macro' plastic litter.

They say this has never been done before.

Nurdles are pre-industrial micro plastics spilt into the environment by production plants around the globe and all plastic products are made from them as it is the easiest form to ship them in.

They get washed onto beaches by the tide and are easily ingested by marine life and fish, before making their way into the human food chain.

Hope and Josh launched an online appeal through crowdfunder.co.uk and have already raised £2,250 of their £5,000 target.

Mr Beech told the Gazette the new machine was being built in Bideford and they hoped to have it operational by November this year.

He said they had received grants from Devon, including from Tesco and The Pickwell Foundation, but hoped local people and particularly local businesses might be willing to support the crowdfunder to get it over the line.

A handful of nurdles - micro plastic beads - found in just a tiny patch of Croyde Beach. Picture: Tony GussinA handful of nurdles - micro plastic beads - found in just a tiny patch of Croyde Beach. Picture: Tony Gussin

He said: "This is also a call to action as well, asking local businesses to put their name to this revolutionary environmental machine.

"We are building it to clean mainly Croyde and Westward Ho! beaches and if we can clean those two beaches, then we can clean anywhere in the UK."

The machine would typically be used on the highest point of the beach, at the spring tide mark near a stream or between dunes, where the micro-plastics are most likely to accumulate.

The intent is to remove only the plastic and not any organic material.

The existing hand-powered trommel created by Nurdle. Picture: NurdleThe existing hand-powered trommel created by Nurdle. Picture: Nurdle

Sponsors willing to donate can get their names or company logos on the machines, literature and website, depending on the amount.

To find out more or to make a donation, go to www.crowdfunder.co.uk/nurdlemachine .

READ MORE: North Devon's bid to tackle the nurdle menace .