Girl Scouts Fighting Plastic Pollution

Girl Scouts across the country, and in England, are learning about ways they can help fight plastic pollution and earn a fun patch at the same time. Madisyn Hamby, a Girl Scout in Southern California, developed a patch for young ladies to earn where they investigate plastic sources, conduct nurdle (plastic pellet) surveys, and input their data into as a citizen scientist. Plastic pellets, also called nurdles, are the raw material to almost everything made of plastic that we use on a daily basis. These nurdles are being released into the environment on accident by the entire supply chain of the plastics industry prior to these pellets making it to their final destination of being melted down and made into everyday products. This Girl Scout patch allows for scouts to learn about the details of how the nurdles are lost to waterways, what some of the solutions are, and then gives the scouts the opportunity to go to the beach or river bank and do a 10 minute survey looking for nurdles on the shoreline. Once the 10 minute survey is completed, the scout counts up how many nurdles found, inputs the number into, and can see their work added to a map of dots of where they did their survey. This information is then used to educate regulatory agencies and political leaders about the problem of pellets in that location so that new policies can be developed to make changes in the handling of nurdles to that they are not lost to the ocean.

Want to find out more details on how to earn and receive a Nurdle Patch? Watch this YouTube video posted by the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve where Madisyn Hamby and Jace Tunnell describe all the details: