The Great Nurdle Hunt

Narwhal Expeditions will be taking part in the Great Nurdle Hunt and you can too. 

Nurdles are small pellets of plastic that are used as raw materials in the plastics industry. These pellets are melted and made into the plastic products that we see in our everyday lives. Unfortunately not all of the nurdles make it in to the manufacturing process, many are spilt in the shipping and movement processes and end up in our rivers and oceans, contributing to the marine microplastics problem.

The good news is you can do your bit to help. The Great Nurdle Hunt is being organised by marine charity, FIDRA. Across the weekend of the 14th-16th April they would like volunteers to go out, collect nurdles from their local beaches or riversides and report their findings. 

FIDRA says "We need your help to find out how widespread nurdle pollution is around Scotland.
New nurdles are washing up on our shores but we don't have detailed evidence of where they are coming from or how widespread the problem is. Findings from The Great Nurdle Hunt will help us show the local plastics industry the extent of the nurdle pollution on our shores. So please visit your local beach and join the Great Nurdle Hunt!"
The Great nurdle hunt for plastic beach litter

The Great nurdle hunt for plastic beach litter


Help the plastic problem on your beach

Here are The Great Nurdle Hunts top tips on where to hunt nurdles:

"The best place to start your hunt is amongst accumulations of small pieces of plastic above the tide line
Paths: Look on sheltered tracks and paths at the edge of the beach.
Vegetation: Blown on shore from the sea they get caught in the base of the grasses at the top of the beach.
Strand line: The sea washes them up to the high tide mark where they get trapped in the strand line debris.
Sandy Beach: It is easier to hunt on sandy rather than stony or pebbly beaches
Headlands: Beach litter often accumulates near the headlands of bays.
Un-cleaned beaches: In the summer some popular beaches are mechanically cleaned. Avoid these areas."

You can download their pdf guide to nurdle hunting here or check out the video 

Collecting marine plastic data

The Great Nurdle Hunt is collecting data on how many nurdles you find, how long you looked for as well as the nurdle colour to help determine the sources of the nurdles washing up on Scotland's beaches. So get out, enjoy a walk on the beach and do your bit with some nurdle hunting!

The Great Nurdle hunt is only collecting data from Scottish beaches, however if you live elsewhere you can also do your part by joining their petition to get companies to sign up to the Operation Clean Sweep Pledge to avoid spillage of nurdles during their processing here.

We will be heading out onto our local beach in Ardrossan and will keep you posted on our nurdle - findings. Would love to hear if you are taking part too.