What are nurdles?

Nurdles, or plastic pellets, are small lentil-sized pieces of plastic that are the building blocks for most plastic products.  Nurdles are melted down and made into most plastic items. It takes roughly 600 nurdles to create one small plastic disposable water bottle.

It is estimated that 11.5 trillion nurdles end up in the ocean every year. From shipping disasters to poor handling during the manufacturing process, nurdles are being spilled on land and at sea every minute. This is having a detrimental impact on marine species and ultimately, human health.

We need nurdles to be kept where they belong – and out of our ocean.


Dive deeper

Explained: Nurdles

What are nurdles, and why is this happening?

Marine species affected by nurdle pollution

Read more about the wildlife affected by nurdle pollution

Read the report

Our new report highlights the actions that must be taken to end plastic pellet pollution

Take #NurdleAction

puffins seabirds plastics

Spread the word

Nurdles spills are one of the biggest contributors to marine plastic pollution, but they’re swimming under the radar. Even worse – they're entirely preventable.

Share the news with your friends and family now, and ask them to share it with their circles too. The louder our collective voice, the more likely we are to be heard.

You can also share it on social media with the hashtag #NurdleAction

Plastic nurdles, Norfolk, January 2019.

Share your evidence

Help us create a photo gallery revealing nurdle pollution around the world. If you come across any pea-sized pellets, take a photo and tag us on Instagram stating where in the world you are, using the hashtag #NurdleAction.

(Remember to remove and dispose of the nurdles, too!)

Support our vital work

FFI has a strong track record of addressing complex issues from a scientific standpoint and targeting decision-makers who have the power to drive change. In 2016, we played a large part in banning plastic microbeads found in cosmetic products in the UK.
Support our vital work and help us keep nurdles out of our ocean.

Plastic nurdles, Norfolk, January 2019.

Taking action on nurdle pollution

Nurdles in numbers

trillion nurdles are estimated to end up in the oceans every year
tonnes of nurdles were spilled from the X-Press pearl shipwreck
nurdles make up one small plastic bottle