Yeah, as I mentioned earlier, I’m hyperactive. I swam and played water polo throughout high school and college and once I got to grad school I found that I desperately needed something (other than my Masters thesis) to focus on. Triathlon filled that need and now I’m addicted.
(Kelsey is actually a World-Class Athlete… Like flew to New Zealand last Fall to represent the United States sort of Word-Class Athlete….)
Kelsey Abbott -TEAM USA World Triathlon Series
Ohh…Hey… Here’s Kelsey now… finishing as the 2nd (!!!!!) American in her age group (15th overall in her age group) and the 5th American Woman in the whole damn race in the 2012 World Championship !
Yes. That’s a big deal. She finished the triathlon in an Hour and 19 mins!
Okay…. It’s Nurdle Time…..What are they?
Nurdles are tiny bits of plastic and they serve two different purposes. First, nurdles are pre-production plastic. Instead of shipping huge slabs of plastic all over the world, nurdle-makers ship more than 250 billion pounds of nurdles to processing centers each year. Here they are molded into plastic toys, plastic chairs, plastic bottles—every shape of plastic we’re used to seeing. Nurdles are also used as exfoliators in cosmetics.
AND, here’s an interesting factoid: That perfect wave-like shape of toothpaste depicted on most toothpaste packaging is known as a nurdle.
Why do they pose an environmental threat?
1.) Nurdles rarely stay put. They’re small and light and just generally hard to wrangle. (Last July, a shipping vessel caught in a storm off the coast of Hong Kong spilled 150 tons of nurdles into the sea.)
2.) They’re plastic. Plastic never really goes away. Even “biodegradable” plastic bags, which manufacturers claim will take 49 days to degrade in salt water, take at least 3 years to break down.
3.) They’re toxic suckers. Nurdles are super-absorbent and when they’re surrounded by chemicals like pesticides and PCBs, as they are in the ocean, they eat that sh*t up. A single nurdle can be one million times more toxic than the water in which it floats.
4.) They get eaten. Seabirds, fish and marine mammals accidentally or intentionally eat tons of plastic every year. (Nurdles look like fish eggs.) And every year, up to one million seabirds, 100,000 marine mammals and loads of fish die from plastic. And, umm, some fish that eat nurdles don’t choke or starve from eating plastic. They survive…at least long enough to land on your plate.
How big are they?
Technically, nurdles are plastic resin pellets. They can be as small as a grain of sand and as big as a chickpea.
What is the technical name for Nurdles… because readers probably won’t see that word on the back of their products when they go to look, right?
Nurdles are found in shampoos, toothpastes, body washes and all sorts of cosmetics. Companies will typically advertise their nurdle-use right on the front of the bottle, but they often use the term “microbeads.” On the back of the bottle, you might see the word “polyethylene.”
What are the biggest culprits for housing Nurdles?
Anything that claims to scrub or exfoliate is likely to house the little buggers.
Any suggestions for our readers as to how they can start eliminating Nurdles from their lives?
Plastic is everywhere. It’s really hard to avoid it, but if we all become a little more mindful of our plastic usage and try to reduce our use wherever possible, that’ll certainly be a step in the right direction. And when it comes to skincare, well, does rubbing plastic beads on your face really sound like a good idea?