mermaid’s tear
 n.— «Instead of plankton, it was choked with a colorful array of tiny plastic fragments.…The jars were filled with plastic pellets the size and shape of pills. They come in all colors and are the raw material for a vast array of plastic products, from trash bags to medical devices.…From his river sampling, Moore estimated that 236 million pellets washed down the Los Angeles and San Gabriel rivers in three days’ time. Also known as “nurdles” or mermaid tears, they are the most widely seen plastic debris around the world. They have washed ashore as far away as Antarctica.» —“Plague of Plastic Chokes the Seas” by Kenneth R. Weiss KTLA-TV (Los Angeles) Aug. 2, 2006. (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)

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