We know that these plastic pellets absorb all kinds of toxins, like little sponges. Researchers Chelsea Rochman and Mark Browne published an article in the journal Nature demanding that plastic in the ocean be classified as hazardous waste. They are right. Rochman just published evidence of flame retardants in fish from the middle of the South Atlantic Garbage Patch, where billions of fragments of microplastics and nurdles float, are surely laden with toxins and are ingested by the fish she studied.
So, what can Sweden do to stop the flow of plastic? The same thing California did only a few years ago with Assembly Bill 258, aka “The Nurdle Bill.” It simply required that factories that produce or use nurdles must sweep their floors, put screens in storm drains both on and off their sites, and use catchment systems to catch nurdles when they’re unloaded from trucks and trains. Seems simple, but it requires enforcement to make sure companies follow through. And that’s what it will require here.
Martin is on it. Just yesterday he took his family to the beach where this stream enters the ocean. “We found pellets, even a kilometer down the beach we found pellets,” Martin told us. Legislation is necessary in cases like this. It makes the rules apply to everyone fairly. It worked in California, it can work here.
Tags: marine debris, marine litter, nurdle spill, plastic pollution