A search of 279 beaches around the UK has found that almost three-quarters of them were littered with tiny plastic "nurdles".
Volunteers signed up to search their local shoreline, ranging between Shetland and the Scilly Isles, for the lentil-sized pellets, used as a raw material to make plastic products.
They can cause damage to such wildlife as birds and fish, which eat them.
The findings will be reflected in a government study into microplastics.
What's the problem?
Campaigners estimate that up to 53 billion of the tiny pellets escape into the UK's environment each year.
This happens during the manufacture, transport or use of plastic products.
The nurdles are often spilt accidentally into rivers and oceans or fall into drains where they are washed out to sea.
Experts warn nurdles can soak up chemical pollutants from their surroundings and then release toxins into the animals that eat them.
Read more here.