Culture

Get Ready For The Great Nurdle Hunt

The Great Global Nurdle Hunt is happening from the 1st to the 31st of October 2021.

Firstly what are nurdles?

Nurdles are tiny plastic balls, and can be found everywhere in our environment, including on our beaches. When they are in the sea they are mistaken by marine life as something to eat and so they make their way into the food chain.

Nurdles, or plastic pellets are the building blocks used to make all the plastic products you use and find today; from wheelie bins to car parts. They are transported across the world in their billions and used in almost every country. Because of their size and sometimes poor handling, they are spilled throughout the plastic supply chain. This can happen at any point during production, transport or processing. 230,000 tonnes of nurdles are estimated to be lost  to the seas each year from accidental spills  – that’s billions and billions of pellets. Once at sea, these microplastics can cause harm to marine life where they are often mistaken for food and eaten.

The Great Global Nurdle Hunt

Read more about the problem here

Fidra in Scotland is an environmental charity that works to reduce plastic and chemical marine pollution. Every year it takes part in the Great Global Nurdle Hunt.

There are a whole lot of resources available for you to use, either as an individual, a group, or a school etc.

Click on this link to access all the information and resources available: The Great Global Nurdle Hunt

The Great Global Nurdle Hunt will help in tracking where the plastic pellets are, some can be removed from the environment but it will also highlight to companies and governments how widespread the problem is and what they can do to limit what is happening.

How can companies help?

A new publicly available specification (PAS) has been released. It 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.

Click on this link to download the free PAS on Nurdles: Plastic pellets, flakes and powders. Handling and management throughout the supply chain to prevent their leakage to the environment. Specification

Who is PAS 510:2021 for?

  • Any organization of any size in any part of the supply chain that handles pellets, including:
    • Raw material manufacturers
    • Distributors
    • Storage facilities
    • Recyclers
    • Transporters
    • Plastics processors
  • Any company handling materials of similar properties and dimensions that might pose a pollution risk
  • Anyone buying, selling, or using plastic materials and products, as well as anyone investing in companies that do so

This PAS is intended to be internationally applicable.

The next step for Fidra is: ” towards an effective solution is to make sure companies are externally checked, by independent auditors, to verify that they have best practice in place – certified best practice. This will let retailers and others placing plastic products on the market check their supply chains are doing everything they can to prevent pellet pollution. Furthermore, we see legislation as key to ensuring that this best practice is implemented industry-wide. Find out more about our vision of the supply chain approach here.

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