Operation Clean Sweep (OCS) – plastic pellet loss management system
Implement plastic pellet loss prevention measures across the supply chain.
When plastic pellets, flakes and powders end up in inappropriate environments like rivers and oceans, they are hard to retrieve. It is therefore crucial to prevent plastic pellet loss and conserve raw materials that would otherwise be wasted during the production, conversion, transportation, reclamation and disposal stages. To effectively address the increase of microplastic waste in the environment, it is essential to intensify prevention efforts.
What is the Operation Clean Sweep (OCS) standard?
The loss of plastic pellet is the second largest source of primary microplastics in the environment. Operation Clean Sweep is the response of the plastics industry to public concern over plastics pollution in marine environments.
Certification to the Operation Clean Sweep (OSC) standard is a voluntary initiative to encourage and harmonize plastic pellet loss prevention measures in the plastics industry. The scheme was developed by the association of European Plastics Converters (EuPC) and PlasticsEurope which is the association of plastics manufacturers in Europe.
Unintentional loss of plastic pellets, flakes and powders can occur at all stages along a value chain, which is why the OSC standard sets forth management system requirements that covers all stages.
The standard is applicable to all pellet-handling facilities. This includes manufacturing, compounding, master batching and conversion of plastics as well as transportation and logistics. In addition to the OCS standard’s core requirements, each stage of the value chain will have an additional specific requirement module.
Benefits of becoming certified
The OCS certification scheme defines best practices to prevent plastic pellet loss. With this standard, the plastics industry has worked with policymakers in the EU and beyond to harmonize requirements and create verifiable commitments. The ultimate objective is to ensure zero plastic pellet loss.
The OCS Europe Certification Requirements are composed of the Core Requirements and the Specific Requirements. Core requirements are procedures, assessment steps, management system, training requirements and related key performance indicators (KPIs) which are common across all parts of the value chain. Specific requirements are related to each part of the value chain (e.g. plastics manufacturing process, master-batching, compounding and converting processes) with sector measures, KPIs and potential targets.
Certification benefits include:
- Demonstrate commitment to the good of the environment, for the safety of employees and for business continuity.
- More material remains as a valuable product instead of becoming waste, improving process efficiency.
- Companies improve their environmental footprint and plastics are kept out of the environment, including waterways and oceans.
- Improve the company’s environmental image, which is increasingly important to attract investors and qualified employees.
- Market recognition as a sustainable leading player in the plastic industry.