While the latest Operation Clean Sweep progress report, published Oct. 15, contains an encouraging overview of the advances made by the organization and its members, additional actions are critical in order to achieve the goal of zero pellet loss to the environment.
Plastic pellets used to produce plastic products can unintentionally enter the environment at different stages along the value chain. And although progress has been made, greater efforts towards plastic pellet containment are essential, write the authors.
According to the report, scaling up the fight against pellet loss in the environment also requires "ongoing industrial efforts to tackle the problem at source. This calls for additional and coordinated actions in the implementation of the OCS program by plastics producers and the entire value chain."
PlasticsEurope, the European coordinator of the OCS program, had in 2019 already made the OCS program compulsory to all its members. The association has now announced an action plan for the development of a European zero pellet loss certification scheme by 2022.
Under the scheme, common requirements based on the six pillars of the OCS pledge will be set that will be audited regularly by accredited third parties. The aim is to have all PlasticsEurope member companies externally audited by 2025.
“This approach will enable the plastics industry to transparently demonstrate its efforts to implement concrete measures towards zero pellet loss into the environment," explained Markus Steilemann, CEO of Covestro and president of PlasticsEurope.
PlasticsEurope is currently working with the full plastics value chain on the development of this OCS certification scheme in view to have it ready by 2022.