The big problem with a silly name...

There is a type of man-made debris on our beach, especially in the strandline, that many beach users will never have notices, yet forms a large proportion of marine pollution.


Nurdles are small pellets, about 3 to 5 milimetres in diameter, that are melted during plastic manufacturing. They find their way into our seas (washed down drains, spilt from containers during shipping accidents etc.) and inevitably end up on our beaches.


VMCA volunteers, working with BeachCare, conducted a survey to assess the volume of nurdles at Polzeath in April 2011. To minimise disruption to the strandline habitat, pellets must be collected by hand, and nearly 2,500 nurdles - 2439 to be exact, were gathered in half an hour from a 10 metre stretch of strandine. Factored up yo yhr whole strandline, there must be tens of thousands of nurdles on our beach alone, and an even greater number along the Cornish coast.


Globally, the problem is vast: some research suggests that in parts of the ocean, nurdles greatly outnumber plankton. It is not difficult to see how birds, and other marine life mistake these objects for food, choking to death on them and/or leaching harmful chemicals into the broader food chain - including the fish we consume.


At a local level we hope to raise awareness of marine pollution in general, and where we can, tackle the problem directly via regular beach cleans. Addressing the broader problem specifically presented by nurdles is something we will be working on in the coming months and years.




Great Winter Nurdle Hunt 2017 results...

For those of you who took part in the Great Winter Nurdle Hunt the results are in... Click for a downloadable pdf (TGWNH_Results.pdf), and visit for more information. The information gained from this nurdle hunt is being submitted as part of a detailed consultation response to the UK Government, and will be available on the DEFRA consultation website soon.


Next time you are at Polzeath......

THE NURDLE HUNT CHALLENGE - looking for things to do when at the beach - what about taking part in our Polzeath Nurdle Challenge???


Nurdles are pre production plastic pellets see and they are washed up on all beaches of the world. Last year (2011) in one session at polzeath we collected over 2000.


The nurdle hunt on Saturday 22nd September (2012) was part of the Mega Beach Clean event. A total of 241 nurdles were collected, and who collected the most?? Jack did - 55 all on his own. All those who hunted for nurdles were rewarded with either a flapjack or gingerbread person....


2013 Marine Discovery Day saw a nurdle hunt take place, and thankfully we did not find too many... As a group of 15, we found around just 40 nurdles..... The most were collected by Coral and Kaja - brilliant job you two....


When you are next at Polzeath see how many you... and your children/family/friends can collect. Place the nurdles in a bag or envelope, with your name and contact number and drop through the letter box at the Marine Centre.


Buckets are available from the Marine Centre for the purpose of collecting nurdles.


Happy nurdling folks...

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