Nurdles: the worst toxic waste you’ve probably never heard of – the Guardian

Nurdles - plastic "gravel" (by Barbara Agnew CC BY-SA 2.0 via Flickr)

Excerpts:

Billions of these tiny plastic pellets are floating in the ocean, causing as much damage as oil spills, yet they are still not classified as hazardous…

When the X-Press Pearl container ship caught fire and sank in the Indian Ocean in May, Sri Lanka was terrified that the vessel’s 350 tonnes of heavy fuel oil would spill into the ocean, causing an environmental disaster for the country’s pristine coral reefs and fishing industry.

Classified by the UN as Sri Lanka’s “worst maritime disaster”, the biggest impact was not caused by the heavy fuel oil. Nor was it the hazardous chemicals on board, which included nitric acid, caustic soda and methanol. The most “significant” harm, according to the UN, came from the spillage of 87 containers full of lentil-sized plastic pellets: nurdles…