number of nurdles to make plastic grocery bag

How many nurdles does it take?

December 24, 2019

Ever wondered how many plastic pellets (nurdles) it takes to make every day house hold products? Well, we sat down with a scale to find out. These numbers are not exact due to various factors, but they give us a good estimate for how many nurdles it takes to make certain items. Some of the factors that make this not exact are that most of the nurdles we used for this are low density polyethylene (PE) found on shorelines. Some of the items we were weighing were made of polypropylene or PET, which have slightly different densities that PE. Other factors are that depending on where the

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Nurdle ID Chart

Yes Nurdle, No Nurdle

December 10, 2019

Have you heard people talking about nurdles? Nurdles are tiny plastic pellets used as the raw material to make almost everything plastic, and they are washing up on shorelines, floating down rivers, and accumulating in lakes and along railroads? The pellets are made and stored in large silos, then blown into railcars, trucks, or put in Gaylord sacks or large bags where they are shipped all over the country, and world. The nurdles are small and light weight, which makes them hard to contain. When loading and offloading the nurdles, they can fall out on the ground. During transportation

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Nurdle Patrol

Nurdle Patrol, One Year Later

December 6, 2019

One year ago, Mission-Aransas Reserve wanted to monitor the movement of nurdles (plastic pellets) around the beaches of the Texas Coastal Bend after a spill of nurdles was found in late September 2018. The goal was to see how far the nurdles had spread, how long the nurdles would be around, and removing the pellets from the beach so animals could not eat them. The interest to monitor the nurdles by citizens was so great, that groups in every state, and Mexico, along the Gulf started conducting 10 minute surveys to document nurdle concentrations along shorelines. One year later there

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Annual Aransas National Wildlife Rescue Cleanup - October 5th

October 3, 2019
The 2019 Aransas National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) clean-up needs volunteers to help remove trash from the shorelines on October 5th, 2019. The Whooping Cranes will be arriving at the Refuge around mid-October and our goal is to help clean the area before they arrive.

The Mission-Aransas NERR is partnering with ANWR again to recruit volunteers and help out with this great event. We will meet at the Fulton Harbor at approximately 7:30am, and depart on the Skimmer at 8am, returning at approximately 2pm, with lunch provided.

This event is extremely rewarding, but it is also hot, Read more about Annual Aransas National Wildlife Rescue Cleanup - October 5th
Jace Tunnell nurdles launched and ready for your data

October 2, 2019

The Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute just launched a new interactive mapping website that allows citizen scientists to add plastic pellet (nurdles) data into a mapping system to show where the highest concentrations of nurdles are being found across the U.S. and Mexico., Nurdles are small plastic pellets that are the raw material to almost everything made of plastic, and they are

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Mission-Aransas NERR is Hiring!

August 15, 2019

The Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve at UTMSI is hiring two full time positions, including a Coastal Training Program (CTP) Coordinator and a Stewardship Assistant (Research Scientist Assistant).

  • The CTP Coorinator will address critical coastal management issues and is responsible for designing, implementing and managing the National Estuarine Research Reserve’s comprehensive Coastal Training Program. This position will host trainings and workshops with coastal managers throughout the year.
  • The Stewardship Assistant will
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Texas Bays and Estuaries Meeting set for April 2020

June 18, 2019

The Texas Bays and Estuaries Meeting is back! Its been 2017 since the last two day meeting was held that brought together scientists, students, coastal managers, elected officials, and interested public to share research relavent to the bay, estuary, and nearshore environments of the Gulf of Mexico. 

When: April 23rd and 24th, 2020

Where: Port Aransas, Texas

Look for registration and call for abstracts to open in January 2020.


We’d like to thank our supporters that make this meeting possible: The

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Jace Tunnell nurdles

Nurdle Expedition surveys 65 beaches across Gulf

June 6, 2019
The Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve embarked on a 10 day tour of the Gulf states to survey concentrations of nurdles washing up on beaches across the Gulf. Jace Tunnell, director of the Mission-Aransas Reserve, and Sam Sugarek, director of water quality programs at the Nueces River Authority, drove over 3,700 miles, surveyed for nurdles at 65 beaches with over 126 surveys from Corpus Christi, Texas to Key West, Florida from May 19 to 28, 2019. They collected over 5,000 nurdles over the 10 day period with the highest concentrations in Texas. Some of the highlights of the Read more about Nurdle Expedition surveys 65 beaches across Gulf