This year, Staffordshire University’s Microplastic and Forensic Fibre Research Group took part in efforts to estimate the concentration of nurdles on Hightown beach in Liverpool, UK. An average of 139.8 nurdles per square metre were found. That’s around 140,000 nurdles over 1km of hightide line.
If you’d like to become a citizen scientist and collect nurdle data at your local beach, there are a few useful tips. Have a look at one of the online nurdle ID guides online so that you don’t mistake a polystyrene ball, BB gun pellet or ancient fossil for a nurdle.
Make sure to check seaweed and other marine debris when on the beach–these act like large nurdle nets. Once you’ve collected data, don’t forget to submit your findings to a suitable survey so that that they can be used to fight the pollution problem.
And if you don’t live near the coast, don’t worry–nurdles have been found in most environments, including rivers, lakes and even far inland and away from water. We even found them in soil in our campus. So let’s get nurdle hunting–but don’t forget your gloves.