In May 2021, the MV X-Press Pearl spilt 1,680 tonnes of nurdles off the coast of Sri Lanka. It is the worst environmental disaster in the country's history, and the single largest nurdle pollution event the world has ever seen. We need your help. Sign the petition to call on the International Maritime Organisation to set obligations for industry to take responsibility to prevent these large scale pollution events from happening.


Results for The 2021 Great Global Nurdle Hunt are released today and are currently being showcased to decision makers at COP26! Access the report here


Nearly 40,000 nurdles have been found in a one metre square area in the estuary of the river Seine, France. 

The Great Global Nurdle Hunt is finally here! Who's ready for a month of hunting? We are! There is still plenty of time to get involved, read this nurdle news to get up to speeds quickly on how to take part. 


With only one month to go until the Great Global Nurdle Hunt in October 2021 we are in full swing with preparations for this year’s event. There is still plenty of time to get involved, this year we have produced resources to make participating as easy as possible for you. 


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!