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  • Water pollution is increasingly caused by plastic particles, including nurdles, pre-production microplastic resin pellets typically under 5 mm in diameter found outside of the typical plastic manufacturing stream and an intermediate good used to produce plastic final products; microbeads from cosmetics; and the breakdown products of plastic litter. Plastic particle water pollution is also referred to as mermaids' tears. Approximately 60 billion pounds of nurdles are manufactured annually in the United States. One pound of pelletized HDPE contains approximately 25,000 nurdles. In Hong Kong, after being blown by Typhoon Vicente on 24 July 2012, some containers belonging to Chinese oil giant Sinopec which were carrying over 150 tonnes of plastic pellets were blown into the sea, washing up on southern Hong Kong coasts, such as Shek O, Cheung Chau, Ma Wan and Lamma Island. The spill disrupted marine life and is being credited with killing stocks of fish on fish farms. To date, the Hong Kong government has yet to take any action towards cleaning up the spill.