Solidified Oil Spill (S.O.S.)
Pre-consumer plastic production pellets (nurdles) are being discharged into British Columbia waterways by plastic manufacturing facilities
The plastics manufacturing industry uses plastic polymer pellets to manufacture bags, bottles, containers, packaging, and other plastic products for commercial and industrial uses.
Over the last three years we have been researching pre-consumer plastic production pellet spills happening at plastics manufacturing industry sites. We have found direct evidence that these plastic pellets are entering the marine environment from plastic production facilities in the Lower Mainland, particularly along multiple arms of the Fraser River.
We have identified and mapped locations around Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands, San Juan Islands, Sunshine Coast, and the Lower Main-land where pre-consumer plastic pellets are washing up on waterfronts.
Pre-consumer plastic polymer pellets (nurdles) made from High Density PolyEthylene (HDPE), Low Density PolyEthylene (LDPE), and Polypropylene (PP) utilised to manufacture plastic products such as bags, bottles, containers, packaging, etc. are washing up on BC’s coasts, waterfronts and Canada’s National Parks.
A team of researchers at the University of Victoria and working with the Surfrider Foundation has:
- researched, monitored and quantified plastic pellets washing up on BC’s coasts; (see map)
- monitored and quantified pellets washing up on the Fraser River; (see map)
- found hundreds of thousands of pellets at 12 (thus far) Metro Vancouver plastic industry sites, parking lots, rail sidings, street drains (see photos)
- found pellets in Metro Vancouver waterways leading to the Fraser River near plastic industry sites (see photos)
Project Lead: David Boudinot - Plastic Pellets Research