The Firth of Forth has a rich assortment of habitats from grasslands and mudflats to sand dunes and cliffs, making it an ideal home for a huge number of birds, fish, insects and even the occasional whale. It is so outstanding that the whole area has been designated a Special Protected Area largely because of the birds that live and breed around it many of which have been shown to ingest plastic.
The Firth of Forth has 12 offshore islands: Bass Rock is the largest single island gannet colony in the world, but the Isle of May must be the jewel in the crown.
Home to a spectacular 'seabird city', the Isle of May is a Special Area of Conservation and a National Nature Reserve. 250,000 seabirds visit it each year making it one of Scotland's largest breeding seabird colonies. It also has the largest breeding population of puffins in the North Sea.
To keep this unique environment beautiful many litter picks are organised around the Forth each year. These efforts are very important, but they concentrate on removing larger, unsightly pieces of plastic. Smaller pieces of plastic including nurdles are practically impossible to remove so accumulate on the shores in ever larger numbers.