Billions of the pellets end up in the sea, killing turtles, whales and dolphins, and are washed up on beaches around the world

Maritime authorities are considering stricter controls on the ocean transport of billions of plastic pellets known as nurdles after a series of spillages around the world.

Campaigners warn that nurdles are one of the most common micro-plastic pollutants in the seas, washing up on beaches from New Zealand to Cornwall. The multicoloured pellets produced by petrochemical companies are used as building blocks for plastic products, from bags to bottles and piping.

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