News


Nurdle Patrol Wins Coastal Community Award

Every year the Coastal Bend Bays Foundation, a local non-profit in Corpus Christi, Texas, honors teachers, stewards, businesses, and organizations with environmental awards for work done to help conserve and protect natural resources. This year, on November 18, 2021, the citizen science project Nurdle Patrol was the recipient for the Coastal Community award for the project’s impact on helping to protect waterways from plastics, creating environmental awareness, and getting communities involved See full article

Published: 2021-11-22 14:42:59


FREE Nurdle Patrol Startup Kits

Organizations can now create their own local Nurdle Patrol citizen science project! Nurdle Patrol is a project where volunteers conduct 10 minute surveys looking for tiny plastic pellets (nurdles) along waterways around the country in an effort to identify high concentrations that could lead to the source of plastic being released. With funding from the Matagorda Bay Mitigation Trust, Nurdle Patrol is expanding all over the country by creating Startup Kits for the nurdle-collecting cause. As a result See full article

Published: 2021-11-08 16:31:46


Nurdle Patrol Reaches Milestone of 10,000 Surveys

In September 2021, exactly 3 years from the date of the Corpus Christ, Texas nurdle spill, Nurdle Patrol has reached a milestone of citizen scientists performing over 10,000 nurdle surveys across 14 countries. The 10-minute surveys are conducted by volunteers along riverbanks, lakes, and beaches to figure out concentrations of plastic pellets (nurdles) found in their area. These nurdles are the raw material to almost everything plastic and are released to the environment by the plastics industry See full article

Published: 2021-10-05 09:36:38


Nurdle Patrol Receives $400K to Expand into Mexico

Nurdle Patrol received a huge boost in September 2021 with the announcement of expanding efforts throughout Mexico, thanks to a grant from the NOAA Marine Debris Program. The Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute received over $400,000 to work with the Universidad Veracruzana in creating new partnerships across the country of Mexico, host a plastic pollution symposium in Veracruz, Mexico, fill in data gaps along the Gulf of Mexico See full article

Published: 2021-09-24 15:54:45


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 NurdlePatrol.org as a citizen scientist. Plastic pellets, also called nurdles, are the raw material to almost everything made of plastic that we use on See full article

Published: 2021-09-22 11:26:10


A New Standard for Plastic Pellet Handling & Management

The British Standards Institute (BSI) recently published a new standard, one aimed at reducing the amount of plastic pellets, flakes, and powders polluting waterways around the world. PAS 510:2021 targets the loss of pellets along the supply chain by addressing risk management and plastic pellet handling. Created by a multi-stakeholder steering committee which included input from Fidra, NGOs, policymakers, industry representatives, retailers, and regulators, PAS 510:2021 builds on existing pellet See full article

Published: 2021-08-04 13:36:38


Establishing a Baseline of Nurdle Data

A new plastic facility is being built in your area. Our advice: start establishing a baseline of nurdle data. Establishing a baseline of data provides insight on current nurdle pollution levels in a given area, and this data can then be used for tracking and future comparisons. To develop an accurate evaluation of the site and nurdle situation, conduct as many surveys as you can prior to the plastic facility being built and operational. Once the facility is up and running, you can continue conducting See full article

Published: 2021-08-02 10:20:04


How are Nurdles Made?

Nurdles are used in the production of a wide variety of products, from plastic grocery bags to plastic car parts. Their tiny pellet shape allows them to be shipped in bulk to companies all across the globe. Small size is also beneficial during the manufacturing process, as nurdles will melt evenly before being molded into common plastic products. But how is each individual nurdle made? The production of nurdles starts with the extraction of either oil or natural gas from the earth. Once See full article

Published: 2021-07-19 16:04:06


Nurdle Weathering and Organic Pollutants

Nurdle pollution is a global concern, contributing to increased microplastics in marine environments and impacting the health of marine organisms. As nurdles share a similar size and shape to fish eggs, accidental consumption by marine animals and birds can occur. Animal consumption of nurdles can lead to intestinal blockage and decreases in food intake, impacting overall body condition and potentially resulting in death. Unfortunately, there is an additional threat from nurdles impacting animal See full article

Published: 2021-07-12 14:48:32


Nurdle Patrol Expands to the Mississippi River

The Mississippi River is one of the nation’s most important commercial waterways, enabling the transportation of approximately 175 million tons of freight every year. Included in this massive tonnage of cargo are nurdles. It is estimated 250,000 tons of nurdles pollute waterways around the world each year, often during the manufacturing and transportation process. Therefore, it stands to reason large commercial rivers are at high risk for nurdle pollution. At Nurdle Patrol we wonder, is the See full article

Published: 2021-06-29 11:35:58


Sri Lanka Nurdle Spill: Another Example of Governments Needing to be Prepared

This past May, Sri Lanka joined the list of countries to become intimately familiar with the devastating impact nurdle pollution can cause when a container ship caught fire off the island’s west coast. This particular container ship was carrying hazardous chemicals and 78 metric tons of nurdles. In the days following the fire, billions of plastic pellets washed up on the island’s coastline, creating one of the worst environmental disasters in the country’s history. Reports of dead animals See full article

Published: 2021-06-29 11:32:49


Track Plastic Pellets with the New Nurdle Patrol Phone App

The Nurdle Patrol Citizen Science Project has just released a mobile phone app that allows citizen scientists to log their plastic pellet data from their phone. This app is available for both iOS and Android devices and will streamline data entry by having a profile set up for each user. The app also allows users to see their current location and use that location for entering their survey information. The first time the user downloads the app, they will need to create a profile. This will only need See full article

Published: 2021-06-08 13:07:50


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 See full article

Published: 2021-03-30 12:47:55


Teacher Nurdle Kits Hit the Streets

Are you a teacher that teaches students about environmental issues? Then we have a kit just for you! It’s called a Teacher Nurdle Kit, and it has a curriculum for your students to learn about how plastics reach the ocean and all the materials needed for the teacher to explain the problems and solutions clearly. This interactive kit comes with 6 glass jars of nurdles where students will work in groups to help discuss plastics, how they get into the environment, what the harmful impacts are, and See full article

Published: 2021-02-12 10:00:27


Plastic Free Life Challenge

Would you like to win your way to a plastic free life? Now you can with the monthly Plastic Free Life Challenge going on each month from January to June of 2021. Each month an individual or organization can win one of our Plastic Free Life Challenge starter kits! Each kit has 42 super cool alternatives to single-use plastics, including reusable bags, sacs, utensils, straws, lunchboxes, etc. So, how do you win? The organization or individual that conducts the most nurdle surveys in a month will See full article

Published: 2021-01-26 17:53:48


New Research on Nurdle Batches and Distribution

Melanie Quan is a senior from Las Lomas High School in California. Over the past few years, Melanie has done science and engineering projects concerning different areas of plastic pollution, such as their interactions with heavy metals, the removal of microplastics, and the up-and-coming concept of algal bioplastics. Plastic pollution, an issue that is important to her, was her topic of choice once again this summer. Under the guidance of Jace Tunnell, Reserve Director at the University of Texas See full article

Published: 2020-10-05 07:54:04


New Nurdle Patrol Startup Kits

Organizations can now create their own local Nurdle Patrol citizen science project! Nurdle Patrol is a project where volunteers conduct 10 minute surveys looking for tiny plastic pellets (nurdles) along waterways around the country in an effort to identify high concentrations that could lead to the source of plastic being released. With funding from the Matagorda Bay Mitigation Trust, Nurdle Patrol is expanding all over the country by creating Startup Kits for the nurdle-collecting cause. As a result See full article

Published: 2020-08-17 18:50:25


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 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 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 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 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 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 See full article

Published: 2019-10-14 10:43:38


NurdlePatrol.org 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. www.NurdlePatrol.org, 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


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