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Ambassador report

[Ambassador report] [FREE REPORT] Mermaid Tears.

by Rosa Domingos | 03-09-2019 15:14 Comments 11 Comments recommendations 0 recommendations

‘Nurdles’ may sound cute but they pose a huge danger to the marine environment.

Nurdles aka ‘mermaid tears’, are small plastic pellets, the building blocks for most plastic goods, from single-use water bottles to televison sets. These small pellets – normally between 1mm and 5mm – are classed as a primary microplastic alongside the microbeads used in cosmetic products – they’re small on purpose, as opposed to other microplastics that break off from larger plastic waste in the ocean (Gwinnett, 2019).

They are a feedstock in the plastic industry. And instead of being converted into household items, many of them end up in the ocean, collecting toxins on their surfaces and being eaten by marine wildlife. Not so cute now, are they?

The small size of nurdles makes them easy to transport as the raw material which can be melted down and moulded into all kinds of plastic products by manufacturers. Unfortunately, mismanagement of these little pellets during transport and processing leads to billions being unintentionally released into rivers and oceans through effluent pipes, blown from land or via industrial spillage(Gwinnett, 2019).

‘Mermaid tears’ is an appropriate nickname when we consider the potential harm that nurdles have on marine life(Gwinnett, 2019). Their small size, round shape and array of colours make them attractive food – easily mistaken for fish eggs and small prey. This “food” has an extra problem – it comes with a side of noxious chemicals.

The large surface area to size ratio and polymer composition of the nurdle pellets allow persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in seawater to build up on their surfaces. These toxins then transfer to the tissue of organisms which eat them. The problem is in the name – POPs are “persistent”, meaning they don’t go away easily and can remain on the surface of nurdles for years.

Nurdles can be so noxious that people cleaning beaches or recording pellets for scientific surveys are advised not to touch them with their bare skin – which makes sun bathing on many beaches in the summer an unattractive prospect.

So you may ask yourself, how many nurdles are out there in the ocean and on coastlines? It’s estimated that up to 53 billion nurdles are released annually in the UK from the plastic industry alone, who know how much nurdles are being released from the rest of the world(Gwinnett, 2019). 53 billion is the same amount of nurdles that it would take to make 88 million plastic bottles. So why are nurdles rarely discussed in the plastic pollution debate? 

I wonder...

Reference List:

Gwinnett, C,. 2019. The major source of ocean plastic pollution you’ve probably never heard of. [Online]. Available: https://environmentjournal.online/articles/the-major-source-of-ocean-plastic-pollution-youve-probably-never-heard-of/. Accessed: 2 Sep 2019. 12 march, 2019. (& Cover picture).



Kushal Naharki

  • Kushal Naharki says :
    Hello Rosa

    I do hope that you are fine and doing great with your works.
    Thank you for your report about Mermaid Tears

    Green Cheers from Nepal :)
    Keep writing great reports.
    We are eager to read more reports from you.

    Kushal Naharki

    Posted 04-10-2019 22:03

Rosa Domingos

  • Rosa Domingos says :
    Hey Hyeongmin,

    Yes, it is a concern to be looked at, I am sure more information is going to arise from the out as continued research prevails.

    Thank you for reading my work Mentor!
    Posted 10-09-2019 18:45

Rosa Domingos

  • Rosa Domingos says :
    Hey Alok,

    Thanks a million! Much appreciated
    Posted 10-09-2019 18:44

Rosa Domingos

  • Rosa Domingos says :
    Hey Asmita!

    Thank you so much for reading my report, I fully appreciate it!
    Posted 10-09-2019 18:43

Hyeongmin Mentor

  • Hyeongmin Mentor says :
    Hello Rosa!

    I am shocked by the huge number of nurdles in the ocean. Industries should take additional care in nurdle managements.

    Probably nurdles will eventually affect humans themselves since we take adavantage of the ocean ecosystem.

    Thank you for the great report on important but not well-discused topic.
    Posted 07-09-2019 16:53


  • ALOK DHAKAL says :
    Nice report!
    Posted 07-09-2019 13:49

Asmita Gaire

  • Asmita Gaire says :
    Hello Rosa sis
    I hope you are fine
    I always find awesomeness in your every reports.
    Mermaid tears, only seen in the cartoons and anime.
    Thank you so much for this wonderful report.
    Green cheers!
    Asmita Gaire
    Posted 07-09-2019 12:31

Rosa Domingos

  • Rosa Domingos says :
    Hey there Sandhya,

    How are you, I hope you are good! Thank you reading my work appreciate your kind words and I hope to communicate with you soon.

    Warm regards,
    Posted 04-09-2019 14:19

Sandhya Adhikari

  • Sandhya Adhikari says :
    Hello Rosa,
    I hope you are fine there and doing great with your works. Your every articles and reports are honestly speaking so realistic and great. I nearly read your report three times. Nurdles has really so detrimental impacts in every sectors. keep writing such a beautiful reports.
    Posted 04-09-2019 02:32

Rosa Domingos

  • Rosa Domingos says :
    Hey Meena!

    Thank you so much here! Your support in reading my report has not gone unnoticed! Thank you once more.

    Posted 03-09-2019 16:32

Meena Pandey

  • Meena Pandey says :
    Wow!! wonderful report .
    Keep on writing and shining.
    Posted 03-09-2019 16:16

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