Sign the petition

What are nurdles and why are they a problem?

Every day, millions of plastic pellets – lentil-sized pieces of microplastic – are pouring into our ocean, spilling from ships transporting them around the world.

You may not realise it, but almost all of the plastic products we use – from water bottles to toothbrushes to fridges – are made from these melted-down pellets or ‘nurdles’.

And though they’re only tiny, they’re causing huge harm to marine wildlife and habitats – smothering seagrass meadows and filling the stomachs of seabirds and seals, fish and turtles, meaning many starve to death.

It’s a scandal that these pellets are being allowed to pollute our ocean, especially when it’s preventable.

Tell the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to act now and stop plastic pellets polluting our ocean

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is the United Nations agency responsible for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of pollution from ships. It has the power to classify plastic pellets as marine pollutants, which would make them subject to much stricter shipping regulations – immediately.

We know the IMO is aware of this issue and that its Marine Environmental Protection Committee (MEPC) is currently considering what action to take.

Together, we have the power to turn the tide on plastic pellet pollution by pushing the MEPC to act quickly and decisively to bring in stricter regulations when they next meet in July.

By shining a spotlight on this issue and piling public pressure on the committee members, we can push them to classify plastic pellets as a marine pollutant and bring in stricter regulations.

Sign the petition and tell your national MEPC representative that we don’t have time to lose – they need to act now to stop plastic pellets polluting our seas.

The MEPC is made up of representatives from every IMO member country.

We’ll show representatives just how many people care about this issue and are demanding decisive and urgent action on pellet loss at sea.

Help tackle this issue by signing our petition today.


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

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