Nurdles, also known as “pre-production pellets,” are small pellets of plastic resin, about the size of a lentil, that serve as raw material for manufacturing everyday plastic products. These lightweight pellets are also a major source of microplastic pollution. Easily caught by the wind when spills occur during transport or handling, they wash or float their way into waterways, oceans, and beaches. Since plastic litter is all over the planet , nurdles are the building blocks of our current plastic pollution crisis . According to The Great Nurdle Hunt , a global nurdle data collection initiative of the U.K.-based charity Fidra, “There is currently no practical way of removing nurdles from the sea but we can stop the problem from getting worse.” The Life Cycle of Nurdles According to Dr. Abigail Entwistle , “Nurdles start their life within plastic production facilities, extruded like string and then chopped into short pieces — the approximate size and shape of a lentil (or into finer-grade flakes and powders).” This enables both easy transportation and processing between the many manufacturing centers responsible for creating a final product. During their journey, nurdles “are bundled into bags, siphoned into containers, hefted into trucks, shunted by […]

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