Organizations can now create their own local NurdlePatrol citizen science project! Nurdle Patrol is a project where volunteers conduct 10 minute surveys looking for tiny plastic pellets (nurdles) along waterways around the country in an effort to identify high concentrations that could lead to the source of plastic being released. With funding from the Matagorda Bay Mitigation Trust
Alaska, nicknamed “The Last Frontier,” is one of the most interesting, and paradoxical, US states. It’s the largest state by area, over twice the square mileage of Texas and four times that of California. And yet, it is less populous than Rhode Island. It has more coastline than all other states combined, with coasts facing the Arctic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, and Bering Sea, but the Nurdle Patrol map has never before displayed surveys from one of its beaches. However, there is someone in this sparse state who happens to know a lot about nurdles, and this year, he reached out to help the
As people across the world adapt to social distancing due to COVID-19,we are beginning to feel its full weight on our own lives and globalhealth, made especially stressful by the fact that there is nodefinitive timeline or endpoint. It’s true that being restricted fromspending
Citizen scientists, Nurdle Patrol needs your help! Nurdles are tiny plastic pellets that are used to make almost every plastic item we use, so they’re everywhere! Ships, trucks, and trains all carry them, and when they spill out on their way to manufacturing facilities, they reach the ocean and wash up by the millions on beaches across every coast. The issue with nurdles is that they are harmful or even deadly for sea creatures, and if we clean them up from beaches, new ones will simply find their way back. That’s why the Nurdle Patrol is determined to make a permanent change.
If you’ve been a citizen scientist for Nurdle Patrol, you’re probably familiar with the collection process: going out to your local shores, picking up plastic pellets from the waterline, and logging the data. But you may have wondered, what’s next? Clearly, you wouldn’t just fling them out into the ocean again. So, what do you do with these newly collected nurdles to make sure they don’t end up polluting a different beach?
Jace Tunnell, reserve director at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute, gets this question all the time. His suggestion is to “put the
We are excited to announce that the Nurdle Patrol sampling methodology was published in February 2020 in the science journal Marine Pollution Bulletin. The paper identifies not only how sampling is conducted, but how the data can be used in helping to guide policy. With the paper being open access, this means it can be downloaded and shared for free, by anyone! We are hoping this paper helps communities across the country use the Nurdle Patrol data for future research and litigation against companies that are releasing plastic pellets into the waterways. Anyone in the world can add data
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
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