“They’re called nurdles. They’re the raw materials of plastic production. They melt these down to make all kinds of things.” He walks a little farther, then scoops up another handful. It contains more of the same plastic bits: pale blue ones, greens, reds, and tans. Each handful, he calculates, is about 20 percent plastic, and each holds at least thirty pellets.
“You find these things on virtually every beach these days. Obviously they are from some factory.”
However, there is no plastic manufacturing anywhere nearby. The pellets have ridden some current over a great distance until they were deposited here—collected and sized by the wind and tide.
From Polymers are Forever in the May | June 2007 issue of Orion
Don't bother reading the Orion piece unless you're ready to be shocked and horrified into ageographical conformance with San Francisco's ban on plastic bags, possibly even feeling compelled to pick up a pair of needles and follow Aija's Everlasting Bagstopper example, because that guy in The Graduate wasn't kidding -- there's a great future in plastics -- because they never die.
To quote the man: Think about it. Will you think about it?
YouTube Video: "Plastics." Of course.
 yes, as a matter of fact I did make that word up. "without geographic specificity" is what I was going for. did it work?