An online study has claimed Irvine Beach has a problem with nurdles - something our very own Irvine Clean Up Crew strongly refutes.

More than 90 per cent of countries involved in a pollution survey by environmental charity Fidra were found to have hundreds of thousands of the plastic pellets littering their coastlines.

Three different areas of the beach park were investigated, two of which were found to have between 100 and 1,000 of the toxic pellets, while a third area had a seemingly more manageable 30-100.

Sandra Cuthbertson Hughes, co-founder of Irvine Clean Up Crew said: “We carry out our own surveys every month on the beach and although we see very little evidence of nurdles – there’s no doubt that there is an ongoing problem with plastic pollution coming in on the tide.

“We regularly find cotton buds, plastic cutlery, food containers and bottles washed in on the tide as well as fishing industry waste, all of which contribute to pollution and harm to our wildlife.

She added: “We are really supportive of the work that Fidra and the Great Nurdle Hunt does to raise awareness of plastic pollution.

“It’s worth noting that the majority of the data collected for Irvine dates back to four years ago before we were founded and before everyone became aware of the harm that plastic pollution is causing.”

Like other plastics, nurdles can be mistaken for food by marine wildlife like seabirds, fish, and crustaceans.

Once polluting our environment, they can pose a threat to these creatures and habitats for years to come.

Due to their size, and often clear colour, nurdles can look like fish eggs or other small animals which makes them particularly attractive. More than 220 marine species have been shown to ingest plastic debris.

The co-founder concluded: “We’re hopeful that the recent Scottish Government ban on single use plastics will help tackle the problem at source but in the meantime, we’re really grateful to the people of Irvine who regularly join us to clean up the plastics from Irvine Beach.”

The Irvine Clean Up Crew spend hours on end at Irvine beach and other areas ensuring it is kept as pristine as possible.

To find out more about the group, including further planned events, check out their Facebook page - Irvine Clean Up Crew.