A very small pellet of plastic that serves as raw material in the manufacture of plastic products.
- ‘One study estimated that nurdles now account for 10 percent of plastic ocean debris.’
- ‘"Mermaids' tears" are small plastic pellets of waste (also known as nurdles) that wash up on beaches and look like plastic fish eggs.’
- ‘Japanese researchers are finding high concentrations of deadly chemicals clinging to floating, tapioca-size plastic pellets called nurdles.’
- ‘Approximately 60 billion pounds of nurdles are manufactured annually in the United States alone.’
- ‘Moore collected baseball-size gelatinous animals called salps and found their translucent tissues clogged with bits of monofilament fishing line and nurdles.’
- ‘The problem with nurdles specifically is at least two-fold.’
- ‘Hundreds of millions of tiny plastic pellets, or nurdles, are lost or spilled every year, working their way into the sea.’
1990s: origin unknown.