The Netherlands



A unique nurdle pollution dataset in the Netherlands is the result of a collaboration between the Plastic Soup Foundation, NL, and Fauna & Flora International, UK.


The Westerschelde is an estuary in the Zeeland province of the Netherlands, uniquely shaped by man-made concrete flood defences and dykes. The estuary is the major shipping route from the port of Antwerp in Belgium, and its catchment is highly industrialised.


This pollution dataset was collected to test a hypothesis: Highly industrialised estuaries are more likely to be hot-spots of industrial pellet pollution. The Great Nurdle Hunt conducted 

training for the Plastic Soup Foundation staff and volunteers in Nurdle Hunting in 2015.


Nurdles were found in large numbers in many parts of the Schelde, despite concrete shore-lines making monitoring more difficult. Many, though not all, hotspots we observe around Europe are located close to major hubs of plastic production and/or processing.