Nurdles, nurdles, nurdles

A handful of plastic nurdles

At our last beach clean in St Bees we were shocked by the amount of small plastic that we found washed up.  The recent stormy weather and high tides has pushed all of this right up to the back of the beach.  Mixed in amongst the usual debris of rope, bottles, caps, cotton bud sticks and unidentifiable plastic were hundreds of tiny nurdles.  But what are nurdles I hear you cry?

Nurdles are small plastic pellets about the size of a lentil.  Billions of these tiny plastic pieces are used every year to manufacture almost all of our other plastic products.  Many are washed down the drains due to mishandling during production processes or lost during spills so they end up in the marine environment and we end up finding them washed up on beaches or riverbanks.


Unlike larger items such as rope, bottles, wood, buckets and wellies, nurdles can often go unnoticed at beach cleans because they are so small.  So, at our beach clean this week we will have jam jars and we’ll be collecting all of the nurdles we can find, counting them up and submitting our results as part of the Great Nurdle Hunt.  We’ll be sure to let you know how we get on!

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