Volunteers from across England and Wales have been telling us about nurdles found on their local beaches. These examples highlight some other UK pellet hot-spots. Explore our Nurdle map for the full dataset!
Cornwall and Devon
England’s South West coastline is the first port of call for plastic litter washed up from the Atlantic Ocean by the gulf stream, which may be one reason why some of its beaches are so devastatingly polluted. Pellet sightings abound on both the South and North coasts of Cornwall and Devon. A whopping (est.) 401,230 nurdles were collected during a clean-up of just one single cove in Tregantle, Cornwall with the organisation Rame Peninsula Beach Care.
Isles of Scilly
The Isles of Scilly may be far removed from the mainland, but unfortunately they are no stranger to plastic pollution on beaches.
Pellet hot-spots have been documented on five of the islands. The colour palette is unique, and include unusual purple pellets.
The South Coast
Huge numbers of pellets are found on the South coast of England.
In Kimmeridge, a local beach-cleaning group have amassed hundreds of thousands of pellets in their ‘nurdleometer’, which has been in place for 10 years and is on its way to collecting 1 million nurdles. In Southbourne, one intrepid nurdle hunter, Emma Christensen, has collected 60,980 nurdles from a single 100-m stretch of beach, as part of a monitoring project for her undergraduate degree.
Hot-spots have been documented on Anglesey, as well as on the South coast, in Pembrokeshire and within the Severn estuary. Also on Flat Holm Island, within the Bristol Channel where pellets were found scattered among the gull colonies on the island.
Yes, pellets have been found right in the centre of London on the banks of the Thames!
Top: A pool of nurdles at Tregantle Cove, Cornwall - Tracey Williams, Newquay Beachcombing
Middle: Isle of Scilly nurdles and other marine debris - Nikki Banfield, Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust
Bottom: Nurdles found on the banks of the river Thames, Hammersmith, Central London - Chris Jones, Thames 21