Stemming the tide: putting an end to plastic pellet pollution

The building blocks of almost all plastic items on the planet are little lentil-sized petrochemical-derived pellets, called nurdles, that are melted together and shaped to create larger plastic products. These nurdles are the raw material for making water bottles, automobile parts, food containers and countless other products we use in daily life. These pellets pose a huge pollution problem long before they are turned into the products we know and use — littering beaches, absorbing and accumulating bacteria from seawater, smothering seagrass meadows and being mistaken as food by marine animals. Yet this pollution is entirely preventable, according to this recent report by the international conservation organization Fauna & Flora International (FFI).