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Nurdles are a growing pollution problem

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

Story at-a-glance -

  • More than 381 million tons of plastic are produced worldwide each year, and plastic is now found in our soil, lakes, rivers and oceans, as well as in the bodies of humans and wildlife
  • A key plastic pollutant you may never have heard of is nurdles — tiny plastic pellets that form the raw material for plastic products of all kinds
  • Ranging in size from microscopic grains to millimeter-sized pellets, nurdles are the second-largest direct source of microplastic pollution to the ocean by weight
  • British production companies lose somewhere between 5 billion and 53 billion pellets per year through accidental spills during production, transport, processing and waste management procedures
  • In addition to their inability to degrade, nurdles (like other microplastics) act like sponges for toxic chemicals. Birds, fish, whales and filter-feeding marine life eat these toxic nurdles, which look much like floating fish eggs

The looming threat of plastic pollution is undoubtedly one of mankind’s greatest challenges. More than 381 million tons of plastic are produced worldwide each year, and plastic is now found in our soil, lakes, rivers and oceans, as well as in the bodies of humans and wildlife.

According to Environmental Health News, “Two-thirds of all plastic ever produced remains in the environment,” which helps explain why tap water, bottled water, sea salt and a variety of seafood all come with a “side order” of microplastic.


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