Nurdles are the Environmental Calamity of 2019

A year ago, I thought a nurdle was a cricket term for a score by deflecting the ball rather than striking it. But in the last twelve months I learned that a nurdle is also a term for a small, lentil size, pellet of plastic that serves as raw material in the manufacture of plastic products. Nurdle, an idiom for pre production plastic pellets, are the malleable polymers that are molded into everything from plastic drink bottles to plastic piping and an untold number of other consumer products. But when released into nature, environmentalists now claim nurdles are the second largest direct source of microplastic pollution in the oceans by weight. Last month in Nairobi United Nations Undersecretary General Amina Mohammed called nurdles “an ocean Armageddon.” This is not to be confused with post consumer production microbeads used in cosmetic products. While many are aware of the harm from plastics in the oceans, including that communities have responded by outlawing…

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