Texas Nurdle Bill filed to help reduce plastics reaching the ocean
Chairman Todd Hunter filed the Texas Nurdle Bill HB3814 on March 11, 2021 that aims to reduce the amount of pre-production plastic pellets, flakes, and powder reaching marine waters. Neil McQueen of the Texas Coastal Bend Surfrider Foundation and Jace Tunnell of the University of Texas Marine Science Institute met this week (March 29, 2021) with Chairman Hunter's office, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), and lobbyists from the plastics industry about HB3814 details. It’s clear there is a plastic pellet pollution problem. We presented Nurdle Patrol maps of the data collected by citizen scientists, a list of organizations and scientists that support the Bill, and comparisons of the Bill vs. what is currently being proposed by TCEQ. We are working with TCEQ on an effort the agency is pursuing to strengthen their discharge permits for plastic manufacturers and processors in Texas, and seeing how the Bill can help guide that effort. The Texas Nurdle Bill was also filed in the senate by Senator Zaffirini under SB2097 on March 12, 2021. Our hope is that this Bill will be used in other states across the country as a guide for communities to help make changes to policy about plastics reaching the ocean.