Defined as a very small pellet of plastic that serves as a raw material in the manufacture of plastic products.

Plastic injection pellets or “nurdles” are produced by the billions to be used in various plastic products we purchase each year. Unfortunately, as with most raw material manufacturing and use comes adverse effects to the environment. Spills and mishandling of nurdles results in their introduction into the environment most commonly through our storm and sanitary sewers. Due to their size and buoyancy, nurdle releases generally are unremarkable and often go unnoticed. These nurdles are essentially hiding in plain sight. As such, nurdles are usually not remediated from our creeks, rivers, lakes, and oceans and left to float along the surface of the water and eventually bind to shorelines, wetlands etc.

Due to their appearance and size, nurdles are often ingested by marine life such as fish, waterfowl and other marine animals. During digestion, the nurdles release various volatile organic compounds from both its original composition as well as from other background chemical pollutants that bind to the plastic, such as Persistent Bioaccumulating Toxics (PBT) found within our waters that absorb into the nurdles.

As with all plastics, nurdles do not decompose, but fragment into smaller and smaller pieces thus making their removal from the environmental more and more difficult. Thus, best management practices in water and wastewater management and emergency spill response are critical to mitigate releases of nurdles into the environment.

For more information on how Premier can assist you with water and wastewater Best Management Practices and emergency spill response, give us a call or email Doug at

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