A group of students from a Fife school headed to Deep Sea World recently to take part in a ‘nurdle’ hunt around North Queensferry.
Nurdles are lentil-sized plastic pellets which are created in their billions and used worldwide in the manufacture of plastic products.
Many end up in the ocean, posing a major threat to the marine environment.
The S1 and S2 pupils from Inverkeithing High’s wildlife group spent a morning at Deep Sea World with members of their education team before heading off to a local beach to try and track them down.
“We’re looking to engage more with local youngsters to help them understand how our decisions and actions today can affect the marine ecosystem of the future,” said Deep Sea World’s Chris George, who organised the nurdle hunt.
“We are hoping this will be the first of many visits from local schools who want to learn more about marine life and conservation.
“We are in a unique spot close to the Forth estuary and some lovely beaches, but taking the wildlife club on a visit to one such beach proved how major an impact nurdles are having on our marine life.
“Within the first 20 minutes we had picked up more than 200 nurdles, and that was just a tiny percentage of what was actually on the beach,” he added.
Unlike larger pieces of plastic marine litter, nurdles go largely unnoticed, however their cumulative effect is posing a major problem for the world’s fragile marine ecosystem.
The Great Nurdle Hunt is a new initiative by Fidra, a charity based in East Lothian, which aims to engage local concerns over current and emerging environmental issues.
Nurdles absorb toxic pollutants so it is recommended you wear gloves or use tweezers when collecting them and always wash your hands thoroughly afterwards.