There is currently no practical way of removing the nurdles which are already in our seas, but we can make sure we do not add to the problem.
A Global Response
A number of procedures and policies have been drawn up recently both nationally and internationally regarding the problem of marine litter and pellet loss. Click on the links below to find out more.
Scotland: The Marine Litter Strategy , led by Marine Scotland, aims to develop current and future measures to ensure the amount of litter entering the marine and coastal environment is minimised to bring ecological, economic and social benefits. This includes aims directly relevant to plastic pellets, to produce “A plastics industry code of conduct for the safe handling, packaging and transporation, by sea of plastic pellets”
Fidra are new members of this steering group.
“to substantially reduce marine litter in the OSPAR maritime area to levels where properties and quantities do not cause harm to the marine environment” by 2020
This includes a specific action to: “Promote initi-ati¬ves and exchange of best practi¬ce aiming at zero pellet loss along the whole plas¬tics manufacturing chain from producti¬on to transport.”
The Plastics Industry: In recent years, the plastics industry has responded to growing concerns of plastics in the marine environment, including plastic pellet loss.
In March 2011 a 'Declaration of the Global Plastics Association for the Solutions on Marine Litter' was signed by some of the world's leading global plastic associations. The declaration states that organisations are
"firmly committed to the principle that plastics do not belong in the world's oceans and should not be littered".
This includes a pellet-specific action to:
"Steward the transport and distribution of plastic resin pellets and products from supplier to customer to prevent product loss and encourage our customers to do the same." Global Plastics Association for Solutions on Marine Litter (2011).
Both the British Plastics Federation and Plastics Europe have signed this declaration.
In addition, the plastics industry has developed its own action plan to reduce plastic pellet loss to the oceans, through the Operation Clean Sweep pledge (See next page for more information).