Alaskan "Sweet Spots" for Nurdles

Alaska, nicknamed “The Last Frontier,” is one of the most interesting, and paradoxical, US states. It’s the largest state by area, over twice the square mileage of Texas and four times that of California. And yet, it is less populous than Rhode Island. It has more coastline than all other states combined, with coasts facing the Arctic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, and Bering Sea, but the Nurdle Patrol map has never before displayed surveys from one of its beaches. However, there is someone in this See full article

Published: 2020-04-29 13:01:24

Decreasing Pollution During the Pandemic

As people across the world adapt to social distancing due to COVID-19, we are beginning to feel its full weight on our own lives and global health, made especially stressful by the fact that there is no definitive timeline or endpoint. It’s true that being restricted from spending time outside or being with friends can be difficult. However, all citizens have a part to play in reducing the impact of COVID-19 by complying with “shelter in place” orders. Since COVID-19 is spread through even See full article

Published: 2020-04-19 10:56:44

Nurdle Patrol Needs You, Citizen Scientists!

Citizen scientists, Nurdle Patrol needs your help! Nurdles are tiny plastic pellets that are used to make almost every plastic item we use, so they’re everywhere! Ships, trucks, and trains all carry them, and when they spill out on their way to manufacturing facilities, they reach the ocean and wash up by the millions on beaches across every coast. The issue with nurdles is that they are harmful or even deadly for sea creatures, and if we clean them up from beaches, new ones will simply find their See full article

Published: 2020-04-08 13:41:06

What do you do with your nurdles?

If you’ve been a citizen scientist for Nurdle Patrol, you’re probably familiar with the collection process: going out to your local shores, picking up plastic pellets from the waterline, and logging the data. But you may have wondered, what’s next? Clearly, you wouldn’t just fling them out into the ocean again. So, what do you do with these newly collected nurdles to make sure they don’t end up polluting a different beach? Jace Tunnell, reserve director at the University of Texas Marine See full article

Published: 2020-03-26 14:40:03

Nurdle Patrol Methodology Published

We are excited to announce that the Nurdle Patrol sampling methodology was published in February 2020 in the science journal Marine Pollution Bulletin. The paper identifies not only how sampling is conducted, but how the data can be used in helping to guide policy. With the paper being open access, this means it can be downloaded and shared for free, by anyone! We are hoping this paper helps communities across the country use the Nurdle Patrol data for future research and litigation against companies See full article

Published: 2020-03-09 16:57:53

How many nurdles does it take?

Ever wondered how many plastic pellets (nurdles) it takes to make every day house hold products? Well, we sat down with a scale to find out. These numbers are not exact due to various factors, but they give us a good estimate for how many nurdles it takes to make certain items. Some of the factors that make this not exact are that most of the nurdles we used for this are low density polyethylene (PE) found on shorelines. Some of the items we were weighing were made of polypropylene or PET, which See full article

Published: 2019-12-24 09:47:35

Yes Nurdle, No Nurdle

Have you heard people talking about nurdles? Nurdles are tiny plastic pellets used as the raw material to make almost everything plastic, and they are washing up on shorelines, floating down rivers, and accumulating in lakes and along railroads? The pellets are made and stored in large silos, then blown into railcars, trucks, or put in Gaylord sacks or large bags where they are shipped all over the country, and world. The nurdles are small and light weight, which makes them hard to contain. When See full article

Published: 2019-12-10 15:08:14

Nurdle Patrol, One Year Later

One year ago, Mission-Aransas Reserve wanted to monitor the movement of nurdles (plastic pellets) around the beaches of the Texas Coastal Bend after a spill of nurdles was found in late September 2018. The goal was to see how far the nurdles had spread, how long the nurdles would be around, and removing the pellets from the beach so animals could not eat them. The interest to monitor the nurdles by citizens was so great, that groups in every state, and Mexico, along the Gulf started conducting 10 See full article

Published: 2019-12-06 08:20:45

500 Shirts Donated to Nurdle Patrol

Thanks to a generous donation from Texans for Clean Water in November 2019, Nurdle Patrollers will be able to show some nurdle love by wearing their own T-shirt. Texans for Clean Water purchased 500 T-shirts that will go to citizen scientists that have been collecting plastic pellet data on beaches and rivers across the U.S. and Mexico. The goal of Texans For Clean Water is to "organize a statewide group of business leaders and local government jurisdictions through a common initiative. Restoring See full article

Published: 2019-11-10 10:53:43

One Size Fits All, Not! Shape, Size, and Color of Nurdles

When you think of plastic pellets (nurdles), you might think of the typical small, round, white bead. Actually, there are many shapes, sizes, and colors. The shapes and sizes of the nurdles comes from the metal extrusion plate that melted plastic is pushed through like spaghetti before being cooled and chopped into its shape and size. Shapes can be round, flat, square, cylindrical, and various other shapes. The colors can vary as well, with some pellets starting out as opaque and turning yellow with See full article

Published: 2019-10-26 11:09:10

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 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 See full article

Published: 2019-10-14 10:43:38 Launches, Allows World to Enter Plastic Pellet Data

The Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute just launched a new interactive mapping website that allows citizen scientists to add plastic pellet (nurdles) data into a mapping system to show where the highest concentrations of nurdles are being found across the U.S. and Mexico., Nurdles are small plastic pellets that are the raw material to almost everything made of plastic, and they are getting out into the environment See full article

Published: 2019-10-06 19:13:45

Events and News