News

Companies handling industrial pellets (or nurdles) have a new tool in their toolbox to tackle nurdle pollution. A new publicly available specification (PAS) has been released on 23rd July and provides a detailed checklist of procedures and processes that companies should follow to minimise the risk of nurdle spills to the environment. This standard is the first of its kind and has been developed by a cross-stakeholder steering group, including environmental NGOs alongside regulators and industry.

Fidra are devastated to see Sri Lanka is facing one of its worst marine pollution events to date. This is due to a container ship catching fire last week off the west coast of Sri Lanka. The X- Press Pearl is said to have caught fire due to a leak of nitric acid on board the vessel and has burned for numerous days spilling vast quantities of pre-production plastic pellets (nurdles) and hazardous chemicals into the ocean. The spill has been predicted to cause an unfathomable amount of environmental damage, with dead birds and fish already washing up on the Sri Lanka coastline. We offer our thoughts and condolences to the local communities and organisations who are dealing with the impacts of this event.

As part of ambitious new restrictions on microplastic ingredients across Europe, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has proposed that companies handling pellets should report estimates of nurdle spills to the environment, as well as instructions for use and disposal (IFUD) when selling these microplastic particles. While we’re pleased to see pellets being acknowledged as a problem and included in this wider microplastics restriction, we think the proposal can go much further to stop pellets reaching the environment in the first place.

 

We are excited to announce that this year the Great Global Nurdle Hunt is going take place 1-31 October 2021.

Given the uncertainty around world on the progress of the Covid 19 pandemic and associated restrictions we are holding the event later in the year than previously and extending it for a whole month!

Stopping nurdle pollution requires the whole plastics industry to follow the highest possible standards of plastic pellet control. In a new set of briefings, Fidra have teamed up with partners Fauna & Flora International to set out clearly our expectations for an effective set of standards and certification schemes that can be used to stop pellets escaping to the environment. 

While we see legislation as ultimately needed to make sure all companies across the huge, complex plastics supply chain are handling pellets without unnecessary pollution, well-designed standards and certifications are a vital first step to making an effective industry-wide system to tackle pellet loss at source.

This blog explains a bit more about this stepping stone to stopping pellet pollution.

Ever struggled to spot a nurdle in the sand?

As this new report by the Surfrider Foundation Europe highlights, in some locations across Europe, it can be difficult to spot sand among the nurdles! 

Over 1000 volunteers across all 7 continent, find millions of plastic pellets washing up on beaches worldwide revealling global extent of industrial plastic pellet (or nurdle) pollution

This year, we teamed up with Nurdle Patrol – a citizen science project collecting information on nurdle pollution across the USA - to share data from their side of the pond.

Bored at home and can’t get out nurdling??

Why not use this quick quiz to explore our website and learn all about nurdles from the comfort of your own sofa?  

Download the quiz here!

That's a wrap for this year. Thank you to all those who took part in The Great Global Nurdle Hunt.

 

With only one week left to go before 100’s of groups, organisations and individuals hit their local beach to join in the worldwide search for nurdles, we are getting excited!