By United Nations Climate Change Conference COP26

Fidra

The Great Global Nurdle Hunt

Fidra aims to highlight opportunities for individuals, organisations and policymakers to implement changes that will help us  tackle climate change and enhance nature’s resilience.

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By addressing environmental threats such as chemical pollution and plastic waste, and by making space for nature in our urban environments, we are protecting one of our greatest assets in the fight against climate change. 

Explore our virtual exhibit which tells the story of Fidra’s projects.

The Great Nurdle Hunt (2019) by n/aUnited Nations Climate Change Conference COP26

The Great Global Nurdle Hunt

Have you heard of a nurdle? Nurdles are tiny plastic pellets, about the size of a lentil. 

They are the building blocks used to make almost all our plastic products. But these tiny pieces of plastic leak out of the plastic supply chain in their billions, harming wildlife and flooding our beaches with plastic. 

Thousands of nurdles (2017) by n/aUnited Nations Climate Change Conference COP26

230,000 tonnes of nurdles are lost to the environment every year. They are the second largest source of primary microplastic pollution worldwide. 

Collected nurdles (2021) by n/aUnited Nations Climate Change Conference COP26

We can stop nurdle pollution at source. Careful handling and simple best practice measures like preventing spills, cleaning up thoroughly and putting filters in drains can stop plastic reaching the environment. 

Fidra want to see certified measures required across the plastic supply chain, to make sure the whole industry plays their part. 

Everyone can help too by looking out for nurdles on beaches and waterways - take part in a nurdle hunt and join thousands of others across the world collecting data to strengthen our asks for worldwide solutions. Find out more at www.nurdlehunt.org.uk.

A video guide to nurdle hunting (2016) by Music by Caro Bridges and the River. Filming, editing and animation by Riverbank designUnited Nations Climate Change Conference COP26

Watch our video guide to nurdle hunting. 

The Cotton Bud Project (2018) by n/aUnited Nations Climate Change Conference COP26

The Cotton Bud Project

In the UK it’s estimated 1.8 billion cotton buds are used every year, many disposed of improperly by flushing down toilets, ending up in our seas. Plastic cotton buds can be eaten by wildlife and damage their internal organs and can also break down into microplastic pollution. 

Cotton buds on a beach (2018) by n/aUnited Nations Climate Change Conference COP26

Evidence from the Marine Conservation Society's Great British Beach Clean was used to persuade industry to make voluntary changes to stop using plastic stemmed cotton buds and use rolled paper that wouldn’t directly harm wildlife.

Voluntary action from industry showed government a viable solution to replace a single-use plastic item and led to legislation in Scotland to ban plastic stemmed cotton buds.

Packaging by n/aUnited Nations Climate Change Conference COP26

Packaging

In Scotland alone, around 40,000 disposable coffee cups are littered every day. With the UK takeaway industry growing we must ask: what happens to all the waste?

The vast majority is contaminated by food, grease and chemicals, so it cannot be recycled. Instead, it heads straight to landfill or incineration. 

Wherever possible, single-use packaging should be removed or replaced with reusable alternatives. Any single-use packaging needed should be recyclable or compostable with effective collection and processing infrastructure. ​

Chemicals by n/aUnited Nations Climate Change Conference COP26

Chemicals

The chemical industry is the world’s largest industrial consumer of oil and gas. It is also the third largest industrial emitter of CO2. We must use chemicals wisely and prevent pollution.

PFAs 'The Forever Chemical' by n/aUnited Nations Climate Change Conference COP26

PFAS, the ‘Forever Chemicals’, are a group of industrial chemicals that are polluting our air, soil and water worldwide. They build up through food chains, causing long-term damage to wildlife, and are extremely persistent. 

It can take thousands of years for PFAS to breakdown in the environment, meaning the pollution we cause today will last for generations to come.​ Find out more at www.fidra.org.uk.

PFAs (2020) by This video was created for Fidra by fie foe ProductionsUnited Nations Climate Change Conference COP26

Watch our video to find out which everyday items you can find PFAs in. 

The Bead Test (2020) by This video was created for Fidra by Kerry DinsmoreUnited Nations Climate Change Conference COP26

Help us identify which packaging products have PFAs in by doing a bead test.

This story is continued in Fidra At COP26: Part 2.

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Have a look at other opportunities to make a difference https://artsandculture.google.com/story/ZwXRw1wp8XI9QQ


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