‘Plastic pellets found at 73% of UK beaches’
A search of hundreds of beaches across the UK has found almost three-quarters are littered with tiny plastic pellets.
The lentil-sized items, known as “nurdles”, are used as a raw material by industry to make newplastic products.
But searches of 279 shorelines in spots ranging from Shetland to the Scilly Isles have revealed 205 (73%) of the sites contained the pellets.
The largest number, recorded in the GreatWinter Nurdle Hunt weekend in early February, were found at Widemouth Bay, Cornwall, where 33 volunteers from the Widemouth Task Force collected about 127,500 pellets on a 100m stretch of beach.
Overall, more than 600 volunteers took part in the initiative, organised by Scottish environmental charity Fidra in collaboration with the Environmental Investigation Agency, Fauna & Flora International, Greenpeace, theMarine Conservation Society and Surfers Against Sewage.
They are one of the main sources of “primary microplastics” – small pieces of plastic which have not come from larger items broken down into little bits – in European seas and can cause damage t o w i l d l i f e , such as birds and them.
Results from the hunt, which was backed by local community groups and charities, will be fed into the government’s consultation on microplastics, looking at ways of tackling the problem.
Madeleine Berg, projects officer at Fidra, said she wasdelighted somany nurdle hunters took part.
She added: “The information we’ve gathered will be vital to show the UK Government that pellets are found on beaches all around theUKand, importantly, that so many people care about the issue.” fish which eat
“The information will be vital to show how many pellets are found on beaches”
ICON: An animation of a stag is projected on to National Galleries of Scotland building to highlight its bid to buy The Monarch of the Glen
Tiny plastic pellets found at a beach in Newquay