In a viral Reddit post, one user has declared war. While their enemy may be small, they are a sizable opponent responsible for mighty environmental consequences.
These microplastics resemble fish eggs. Nurdles are frequently clear or white, but you may come across brightly colored pellets as well. They are lentil-sized, or about 3 to 5 millimeters in diameter.
“So many nurdles after a rain,” the Redditor writes. “I friggin hate nurdles.”
This Redditor’s quest is a noble environmental pursuit. Billions of nurdles have entered ecosystems around the world, as ships have repeatedly spilled tons of them into oceans during transport.
Roughly 253,000 tons of nurdles enter oceans each year. These toxic pellets then make landfall on coastlines, and they are especially prevalent after rainfall.
Research shows these pellets absorb and transport toxic chemicals into marine environments. Seabirds, fish, and crustaceans will mistakenly eat them because they resemble fish eggs.
This mistake can be extremely harmful, if not deadly, to these animals. Nurdles can cause stomach ulcerations that lead to starvation and introduce harmful chemicals to animals and the greater food chain.
This Redditor is one of many nurdle hunters who want to protect coastlines, wildlife, and water sources. Fellow Redditors have applauded their efforts in the post’s comment section.
“I live on the coast and saw a bunch of them in multiple colors,” one user comments. “I spent 20 minutes picking them up (especially the brightly colored ones since I didn’t want the birds or wildlife to eat them) but there were probably thousands left on that beach.”
“Going for the nurdles! This person rocks,” another user says.
“I’m all for the nurdle patrol,” one user adds.
Join our free newsletter for cool news and cool tips that make it easy to help yourself while helping the planet.