Debris ID: Nurdles

Welcome to another week of Debris ID!

This week we’ll take a look at one of the smallest and most notorious trash items you’ll come across at the beach: Nurdles. Nurdles are tiny plastic pellets that are melted down to make all the plastic products we find at the store. Essentially, they are the raw material that makes our toothbrushes and food packaging. Nurdles get released into the ocean when shipments get knocked off of container ships.

They aren’t overwhelmingly common on Humboldt beaches (thank goodness), but they are definitely still a problem! If you find these during a cleanup, you can enter them as “Industrial plastic pellets (Nurdles)” in the NOAA Marine Debris Tracker App. If you’d like to learn more about our litter clean-up programs and how to get involved, check out the link in our bio!

Photo: Greenpeace Polska