Photo by Naja Bertolt Jensen on Unsplash

Why are the Nurdles the Worst Pollutants? Take This Personal Challenge … 7 Facts, 6 Questions and 7 Suggestions

I always saw pollution as theft, and I always thought, ‘Why should somebody be able to pollute the air, which belongs to all of us, or destroy a river or a waterway, which is supposed to belong to the whole community?’ Robert Kennedy, Jr.

Is this bottom line on your agenda, too?

The looming threat of plastic pollution is undoubtedly one of mankind’s greatest challenges. Plastic is now found in our soil, lakes, rivers and oceans, as well as in the bodies of humans and wildlife.

What do you know about NURDLES, the worst pollutants of them all? Nurdles are tiny pellets from plastic products of all kinds and the second-largest direct source of micro-plastic pollution to the ocean by weight. Their size varies from microscopic grains to millimetre-sized pellets.

7 facts you may not want to know but cannot dismiss:

  1. 381 million tons of plastic are produced worldwide each year.
  2. Plastic is now found in our soil, lakes, rivers and oceans, as well as in the bodies of humans and wildlife.
  3. Nurdles cannot degrade but accumulate in the environment for generations. They can act like sponges for toxic chemicals and often look like floating fish eggs that birds, fish, whales and filter-feeding marine life eat
  4. Two-thirds of all plastic ever produced remains in the environment. Micro-plastics are found in tap water, bottled water, sea salt and a variety of seafood.
  5. Plastics can take up to 1,000 years to break down. Example, a single plastic coffee pod may take up to 500 years.
  6. More than 99% of plastic comes from fossil fuels in the process of extraction, air and water pollution, increased traffic and pipeline construction.
  7. Refining plastic resins and additives can release cancer-causing compounds and other toxins, often colorless and odorless.

6 questions that need more attention and serious answers now

Do your due diligence: watch the video and read the article: Nurdles Are a Growing Pollution Problem

  1. How do pellets become raw material and get into the environment … production, transport, spills, hurricanes, waste water management?
  2. What are ocean gyres…ocean trash congregation of nurdles primarily in the Pacific Ocean called the great Pacific garbage patch?
  3. How is the food chain affected from starvation to consumption of smaller by larger predators?
  4. How can we end the cycle of plastic pollution? As suggested, the best solution would be to reduce plastic use, recycle and replace plastics with paper and glass. However, many countries are going in the opposite direction: the U.S. plans to open more than 300 new plastic factories; China, middle east and Europe continue to invest in plastic production for decades.
  5. How much plastic do you eat and inhale every day? Primary ingestion is from water and seafood, including some brands of bottled water vs tap water. Also indoor air may include synthetic fibers such as polyester, polyethylene and nylon, or non-synthetic particles composed of protein and cellulose.
  6. What are the effects of plastic that do not break down in the human body? Chemicals in plastics have been linked to organ damage, obesity, heart disease, cancer as well as disrupting embryonic development and more.

These questions cannot be denied; facts cannot be ignored or buried in a land fill or flushed into a public waterway without consequences. On another scale, big business may cause most of the pollution but every individual can choose to avoid and reduce his or her daily use of plastics.

Personal Challenge with 7 Suggestions … common sense decisions every day

  1. Opt for products sold in glass containers rather than plastic whenever possible.
  2. Look for plastic-free alternatives to common items such as toys and toothbrushes.
  3. Drink tap water rather than bottled water…filtered if possible.
  4. Avoid reheating food in plastic containers…use a glass container if using a microwave.
  5. Store foods in glass rather than plastic…may contain phthalates and styrene.
  6. Ditch processed foods and Styrofoam takeout for fresh food … or use paper wrappers and containers.
  7. Vacuum regularly…micro-plastic chemicals are found in most household dust, which can end up being either digested or inhaled.

How will you draw the bottom line as a citizen of our one shared world and co-inhabitant of the Earth’s ecosystems and total biosphere? Will you bother to watch the video or check out science as more data is recorded? How will you try to control the visible plastics and the microscopic Nurdles all around you?

Personally, I have never been more proud than to write an eco-fiction e-book for all ages who care about ecology and Nature’s Cyclical Truths about a real superhero whose continued success is essential to all life on Earth. Throughout the Incredible Journey of a Water Sprite with Roots, we can walk the talk and share his many experiences with lifeforms essential to ecology and his amazement at several natural cycles. It is only when he encounters humankind that he feels a loss of self; and learns consciously, and sometimes painfully, the truth for the need for preservation of balance in nature.

He encounters hydrocarbons on his journey, fresh water pollution and a plastic manufacturing plant but I wonder what his reaction might have been to meet a crowd of Nurdles as part of our future.

Questions and comments are always important … Mother Nature is our best friend and deserves our awe, respect, protection and conservation.

Annemarie Berukoff

Excerpt: I wonder but I really don’t know. I wonder if anybody knows, even humankinds who are probably too busy with no time to dig deeper into what the right connections can mean to us all. But I care. Is caring a cycle? If you care enough about something, is that caring returned to you? If responsibility is given or taken, is that responsibility respected and used well? Generally speaking, do humankinds believe in being responsible at least, if not appreciative, of how past, present and future actions are all connected? The Incredible Journey of a Water Sprite with Roots

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Annemarie Berukoff

Annemarie Berukoff

Retired teacher — Big Picture Wisdom, activist, author 4 e-books: social media teens, eco-fiction ecology