Nurdles are pellets of virgin plastic — the raw material used to make all plastic products. They are the first step in the manufacturing process after oil.
Anything made of plastic — like our laundry baskets, buckets or water bottles— start life as nurdles. In October 2017, during a severe storm, two container ships collided in the South African port of Durban, causing billions of nurdles to spill into the ocean.
It was the first time most South Africans had ever heard the word “nurdle”, and suddenly these cute-sounding, lentil-size plastic pellets were the cause of a serious environmental disaster.