Join Operation Clean Sweep

Bill Carteaux, Carol Hochu and Steve Russell

Published: November 15, 2013 3:07 pm ET
Updated: November 15, 2013 3:14 pm ET

Related to this story

Topics Materials Suppliers, Partnerships
Companies & Associations Society of the Plastics Industry Inc., American Chemistry Council

It's time for all companies that handle plastic resin pellets to join Operation Clean Sweep, an initiative designed to minimize the loss of resin pellets to the environment.

It's easy to implement, it requires no dues or fees and it's the right thing to do.

Plastics resins sold in pellet form are shipped through various means — in boxes, trucks, railcars, barges — to a broad mix of companies that make products with these pellets. If not well-managed, pellets can be spilled into the environment where they can be difficult to retrieve. If pellets reach waterways, they can be washed out to sea.

Over the past few decades, researchers have reported that seabirds, turtles and fish are ingesting plastic litter in the marine environment. Some of this litter is from consumer products or packaging. However, some consists of resin pellets, which might not pass through the digestive tracts of marine life, and can contribute to malnutrition and starvation.

While consumers are responsible for the proper disposal of the products they use, companies throughout the plastics supply chain also must take responsibility for keeping pellets out of the marine environment. It's a company's role as a good neighbor — and as a proper steward of the environment.

Operation Clean Sweep (OCS) was created in the U.S. in 1992, and its importance has been confirmed over time as the understanding of marine litter has grown. Today, manuals and tools designed to improve good housekeeping practices are available online to companies that handle plastic pellets, including resin producers, transporters, bulk termi¬-

nal operators and plastics pro¬cessors. The goal: achieving zero pellet loss.

Implementing OCS for most companies is not complicated. In fact, many companies already are implementing best practices in this area. OCS provides a turnkey approach to reducing pellet loss that can readily be incorporated into existing product stewardship efforts.

In addition, companies that "Take the Pledge" to implement OCS can join with others in the plastics value chain to publicize the good work of this voluntary initiative.

And frankly, preventing pellet loss not only is good for the environment — it's good for the bottom line.

Pellet loss is both a local and an international issue, since marine litter knows no boundaries. It can be solved only by product stewardship efforts of individual companies throughout the global plastics value chain.

That's why the goals of OCS were incorporated as a commitment under The Declaration of the Global Plastics Associations for Solutions on Marine Litter in March 2012.

Since that time, numerous national plastics associations have launched OCS in their countries by signing licensing agreements to utilize the initiative's tools and resources. To date, 11 countries have signed licensing agreements, and OCS materials have been translated into French, Spanish and Portuguese. In addition, other national plastics associations are implementing pellet-containment initiatives similar to OCS that meet the global declaration commitment.

The Society of the Plastics Industry, the Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA), and the American Chemistry Council (ACC) are working together today to enhance Operation Clean Sweep and expand participation. The initiative was launched more than two decades ago. We believe it's time for all companies that handle plastic resin pellets to "Take the Pledge" and join Operation Clean Sweep.

For more information on how to "Take the Pledge" and access free tools and resources, please visit: www.opcleansweep.org. Canadian companies/facilities please visit: www.plastics.ca/ocs.

Bill Carteaux is president and CEO of the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc., Carol Hochu is president and CEO of the Canadian Plastics Industry Association, and Steve Russell is vice president of plastics for the American Chemistry Council.


Comments

Join Operation Clean Sweep

Bill Carteaux, Carol Hochu and Steve Russell

Published: November 15, 2013 3:07 pm ET
Updated: November 15, 2013 3:14 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Sony entering recycled PC market

August 27, 2014 11:08 am ET

Consumer electronics giant Sony Corp. is getting into a sideline of selling recycled resins.    More

Image

Nova expanding PE research center

August 26, 2014 1:36 pm ET

Nova Chemicals Corp. has broken ground on an expansion of its polyethylene research center in Calgary, Alberta.    More

Image

Sinopec licenses PP technology to USA, posts half-year results

August 26, 2014 11:46 am ET

China's state-owned petrochemical giant Sinopec Corp. said it is licensing polypropylene polymerization technology to a U.S. plant for the first time ...    More

Image

Japan's DIC planning PPS compounding plant in China

August 25, 2014 1:28 pm ET

Japanese materials firm DIC Corp. plans to open its first polyphenylene sulfide (PPS) compounding plant in China by the end of 2015.    More

Image

China's PVC exports face challenges

August 22, 2014 2:14 pm ET

Despite robust growth in the first half of the year, China's PVC exports now faces new challenges, due to trade barriers and new capacity ramping up i...    More

Market Reports

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook North America

This in-depth report analyzes economic and market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as growth strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies.

Learn more

Pipe, Profile & Tubing Extrusion in North America 2014

U.S. demand for extruded plastics is expected to grow by 3 percent in 2014, with PVC remaining the largest segment.

Plastic pipe will post the strongest gains through 2018, continuing to take market share from competing materials in a range of markets.

Our latest market report provides in-depth analysis of current trends and their financial impact on the pipe, profile and tubing extrusion industry in North America.

Learn more

2014 Injection Molding Industry Report

GROWTH, OPPORTUNITY IN SIGHT FOR INJECTION MOLDERS IN 2014

In the wake of the economic turbulence earlier in this decade, molders today find themselves in much better shape. Molders are gaining a competitive advantage by investing in people, equipment and seeking inroads into new markets on a global scale.

Growth in the injection molding industry is going to be driven by low financing costs and a continued move to reshore some business.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events