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Tiny plastic pellets are adding up to a
big problem for our environment

Photo by Extinction Rebellion Romsey


Nurdles are small plastic pellets used to make almost all our plastic products. An estimated 445,970 tonnes of nurdles, the equivalent to 29 billion plastic bottles, escape from stages in the plastics supply chain into the environment every year. This plastic pollutes our environment before it has even been used to make anything.

The Great Nurdle Hunt is Fidra’s global citizen science project which collects data on this pollution issue and shows that nurdles are polluting rivers, oceans and beaches worldwide.

Nurdles loss

Spills and mishandling by industry mean nurdles end up in waterways and at sea


Countless nurdles leak out from the plastics supply chain into the environment every year.

Once in the environment, nurdles spread far and wide polluting beaches all over the world. Nurdles are almost impossible to clean up and can’t be recycled.

Wildlife mistakes nurdles for food, causing harm. Nurdles have also been associated with potentially toxic chemicals.

Nurdles can harm wildlife and leach chemical additives into the environment. Photo by Tracey Williams Lego Lost at Sea


Nurdle Hunts demonstrate the scale of this pollution to industry and governments, showing that people care and want to see further action.

This pollution can be stopped at source. Careful handling by industry can prevent spills, while thorough clean-up and filters in drains on sites where nurdles are handled can stop any spilled nurdles reaching the environment.

We need to work together to implement solutions around the world.

The Great Nurdle Hunt works with organisations around the world to take action on pellet loss. Photo by Arocha Kenya


Take part in a nurdle hunt and join thousands of others across the world collecting data to strengthen the call for solutions.

We are asking organisations around the world to work together on local, national and worldwide solutions to nurdle pollution.

Contact us to find out how your charity can be part of the solution to pollution and join our Nurdle Network.

Share your story, how does nurdle pollution impact you and your community? Join us on facebook, twitter and Instagram.

Taking part in a nurdle hunt is easy, you don’t need any equipment to look for nurdles


Over 6000 nurdle hunts have taken place across all 7 continents. This shows widespread pollution and that people around the world care about this issue and want to see further action.

Look at the results from our latest Great Global Nurdle Hunt event, 91% of countries that participated were found to be impacted by nurdle pollution.

We have been working with governments, organisations, investors and industry to create plastic supply chains free of pellet pollution.