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An estimated 11.5 trillion plastic pellets end up in ocean each year, UK charity says

An estimated 11.5 trillion nurdles end up in the ocean each year, according to the UK charity Fauna and Flora International.

The millions of plastic pellets flooding beaches on the English coast are the size of a lentil and are used by industry to manufacture plastic products.

They are known as nurdles and are sometimes nicknamed “mermaids’ tears” because when spilled at industrial facilities, they can be swept into drains and out into the sea.

Nurdles are usually transparent and factories use them to make larger plastic objects, but like crude oil, they can easily escape during transport and are persistent pollutants, absorbing other pollutants as well.

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