Stormwater Permits and Thresholds

Legislation in parts of the US (e.g. California) has specified pellets in storm water permits. This means public inspectors can take immediate action if they see pellets escaping or poor practice. Inspectors can also provide advice to companies to improve pellet containment.


Many companies already have storm water permits and inspections, so it is straightforward to add specific mention of pellets.


Unless set at zero, any threshold suggests there is an acceptable level of pellet loss to the environment, sending the wrong message to companies. Permits will not stop pellet pollution during transport, off-site. This approach puts pressure on public authorities to carry out checks.

Current Activity

Coming soon


  • Ask your government to update their water standards to include proactive prevention of plastic pellets from escaping into the environment.


Debris in Stormwater drains, Australian case study 2023 – Research Paper

Gross pollutant traps were installed in 120 drains in Greater Melbourne, Australia, and citizen scientists trained by Tangaroa Blue Foundation weighed and classified debris at 6-week intervals between October 2019 and October 2020. Four survey cycles were conducted before lockdowns were implemented, then another four during lockdowns

California Environmental Protection Agency – California’s Preproduction Plastic Debris Program

California’s Preproduction Plastic Debris Program This includes plastic pellets in legislation on storm water permits. Requirements include: Inspections Enforcement Stakeholder…

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality – Case Study

This series of links shows Texas water regulation that almost included proactive prevention of pellet pollution Including the original filing…

Accountability for nurdle pollution, Swedish case study 2018 – Research Paper

Swedish case study identifies regulations, laws, and policies have not been adequately enforced on industrial spills of microplastics. These results therefore highlight the importance of addressing plastic spills from industry through existing regulations and regular inspections.