Nearly all the plastic products we use – from drainpipes to bottle tops – are made from nurdles. These small plastic pellets, about the size of a lentil, can easily be spilt when handled and transported. They are then washed down drains and end up in our seas.
Once at sea, they can be mistaken for food by birds, fish and other marine life. In the stomach they prevent the feeling of hunger and can lead to starvation. What’s more, in sea water they attract toxic chemicals that can be passed into the tissue of the animal.
So what can be done? The Great Nurdle Hunt, run by local charity Fidra, has been encouraging companies from across Scotland to implement measures to avoid and control spills. By doing this further loss of pellets into our seas will be prevented.
The project relies on volunteers to identify where nurdles are being washed up. You can help show the extent of this problem by carrying out a simple survey on your local beach. Whether you have five minutes or fifty minutes to spare, every hunt provides valuable data. Have a look on The Great Nurdle Hunt’s website for more information, tips on how to hunt and where to send your data. The results of your search will then be uploaded onto The Great Nurdle Hunt’s online Nurdle Map.
The Scottish Seabird Centre is a proud supporter of this very important campaign. It is vital that we protect our marine environment now and for future generations.