Guest Blog Post: From Oahu Marine Biologist, Kendra Nelson

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• pearls or nurdles? •


What are nurdles? They are tiny plastic resin pellets that are used as a raw material in manufacturing plastic products. They are about the size of a lentil & look like pearls. Billions of these nurdles are used each year to make plastic products. They can often spill into the ocean while being transported overseas. A report by Fidra in 2016 estimates that up to 53 billion nurdles may be spilled ANNUALLY from land-based sources in the UK alone. That's equivalent to losing up to 88 million plastic bottles to sea over the course of a year. And these small plastics attract & concentrate pollutants they encounter while in the ocean like mercury & PCBs. Meaning they wash up on our shores toxic (& yeah, I stick them to my face, going for impact here). They are also ingested which passes these toxins on to the animal & anything that may eat that animal. These toxins can also cause digestive & reproductive issues in species like we have seen with killer whales who have become sterile from PCB pollution. Basically, nurdles are bad news. For fish & for us. And while they resemble a pearl, they are not some beautiful beach treasure but a harmful pollutant. I have found nurdles on every beach here on Oahu. They blend in at first & can go unnoticed due to their size & coloring. But they are there. The best way to help stop this pollution is simply cut back plastic consumption. In the small ways & drastic ways, whatever you’re able to do helps 💛 as long as we strive to #BeTheChange the world gets just a little bit better every day 🌎

For more empowering knowledge, visit Kendra's profile at 

https://www.instagram.com/harpseal111/

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