Public Lab Wiki documentation

Nurdle survey

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A survey for nurdles (industrial plastic pellets) on a beach or shoreline is a relatively easy and inexpensive way to monitor microplastics pollution.

Lead image: Nurdles, by hockadilly, CC BY SA

Purpose of a nurdle survey

  • Identify and count nurdles over a period of time at a particular location.
  • Gain awareness of local nurdle pollution, report counts to government agencies, report counts to organizations mapping community-sourced data on nurdle pollution.
  • Using mapped data, compare nurdle pollution in different regions and potentially correlate high concentrations of nurdles to an industrial source.

Groups organizing nurdle surveys

  • Nurdle Patrol on the US Gulf Coast published methods for a 10-minute nurdle survey (see details below), provides an online reporting form for community members to submit data, and has a map showing submitted nurdle counts.
  • Great Nurdle Hunt organized out of the UK outlines a variable-time nurdle survey, plus tips, suggested equipment, a nurdle ID sheet, and data collection form. They also have a map showing nurdle counts worldwide.

If you know of other groups organizing nurdle surveys, please add them to the list!

Nurdle survey activities

Posts written by Public Lab community members and tagged with activity:nurdle-survey will appear here. Write a note about your own research or story here!

Activities should include a materials list, costs and a step-by-step guide to construction with photos. Learn what makes a good activity here.