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What a lot of nurdles...

Georgie Siddle - Harbour Ranger

In March, I was on Pilsey Island with the Friends of Chichester Harbour - 26 willing volunteers helped to clear rubbish from the foreshore and collected over 20 bin bags full. I stayed behind and cleared only one metre square... my quest was to clear the beach of nurdles and I found enough to fill half a jam jar!
Nurdles are the pre-production micro plastic resin pellets, only about 5 mm across and mainly blue, black, grey or white in colour. They are used to make our plastic products that we all use daily.

They are used in cosmetics too, ending up as micro beads or fibres, washed into the ocean. Unfortunately, nurdles do not disappear; they just break into smaller and smaller pieces.

Nurdles also attract and concentrate pollutants, such as DDT and PCBs to highly toxic levels, especially in sea water. These are then eaten by marine animals and sea birds and, eventually they end up in our food chain.

Krill especially cause problems for large filter feeders that prey on them as they cannot remove them from their mouth or digest them. Nurdles float in the same way as Krill, but they get stuck in the animal's digestive system, eventually causing their death.
I found the same amount of plastic as the volunteers did, but mine was significantly smaller. However, we calculated that the amount would be the same if the size of the litter was equal.

Please take a closer look on the shore and, if you have time, pick a few nurdles up and put them in the bin. Every bit helps to look after our fragile marine life. Why not join The Great Nurdle Hunt? Click here to record the amount of nurdles you found and where you found them (

Posted 01/09/2017 10:03

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