Record Plastic Pellet Concentrations at the Beach with Your Phone!


Have you ever wanted to be a part of a science project, and one where the data will actually make a difference? Well, here is your chance. The Nurdle Patrol is a citizen science project where people go to their local beach and look for tiny plastic pellets, called nurdles, for ten minutes. After 10 minutes of searching, simply go to NurdlePatrol.org and submit your data on your phone, or at home at your computer! The information can be seen immediately on a map, can be printed, and can be used by the government to find the source of plastic pellets. It's easy, fun, and it helps make a difference!

What is a nurdle? It's a lentil size piece of plastic that is the raw material to almost everything made of plastic. Once these nurdles are made, they are shipped all over the world to make everyday plastic products. The nurdles are escaping to the environment at the manufacturing facility when loading/unloading to rail-car or trucks, fall out during transportation, and during spills at sea and on land. The biggest impact is to fish and wildlife that eat the nurdles since they look like a natural food source. Fish, birds, and sea turtles have all been documented as eating these plastics. The nurdles also absorb harmful chemicals such as PCBs and PAHs that are known to impact animals negatively. Nurdle Patrol is trying to find the source of the pellets by counting concentrations on our beaches, bay shorelines, and rivers. Check out the map at www.nurdlepatrol.org to see what data has been collected in your area, and where data still needs to be gathered. Come join us, use your phone, and pick up plastic pellets at your favorite beach!

Have questions, want to become a partner, or want to support the cause? Contact jace@utexas.edu