Operation Clean Sweep: Everyone Has a Role to Play
Operation Clean Sweep (OCS) is working to prevent resin loss and help keep this material out of the marine environment. Read on to find out what you can do to help your company work toward zero pellet, flake and powder loss.
Environmental damage can be caused by spilled pellets, flakes and powder ending up in the ocean, which is why it’s imperative that the industry handles those items as responsibly as possible. One initiative helping with this is Operation Clean Sweep (OCS), a stewardship program of the Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS) and the American Chemistry Council’s Plastics Division, which is working to prevent resin loss and help keep this material out of the marine environment. Launched in 1991, OCS continues to grow and is implemented in thousands of plants around the world, which has led to advances in the responsible handling of plastic resins. The campaign’s goal is to help every plastics-handling company work toward achieving zero pellet, flake and powder loss.
So how does it work? It starts with taking a pledge, which comes in two levels:
Partner: the companies that manufacture or handle plastic resin pellets.
Supporters: organizations that do not qualify for partnership (do not manufacture or handle resin pellets) but support the efforts of OCS to prevent pellet and flake loss in the environment.
Once the pledge is taken, the OCS program and manual offers guidelines to help plastics industry operations managers reduce the accidental loss of pellets, flakes, and powder from the processing facility into the environment. Elle Brumley, associate director of industry affairs for PLASTICS, says the OCS tools are designed to provide maximum utility for all types of plastic handling and transporting operations through good housekeeping and containment practices.
“It’s a great program to stand shoulder-to-shoulder to show we care about the environment,” she says. “We’re working to help stop what we can control.”
One partner company includes Royce International, a solvent, additive and colorant manufacturer. Since taking the OCS pledge and incorporating best practices about five years ago, the company has reportedly reduced production loss by 25 percent.
Recently, the OCS program added another level—OCS blue, which is a new, data-driven VIP member offering available to current OCS members. The new member level will act as a recognition for companies excelling within the existing program, allowing them to showcase data and basic metrics that will be helpful reporting tools as OCS continues to grow and gain broad industry support.
Visit opcleansweep.org to learn more about OCS and for tools that can help your company work toward zero pellet, flake and powder loss.
Robots are gaining the ability to monitor their internal systems for remote troubleshooting and predictive maintenance. They also are reporting production data.
Shell Polymers says it will use a new production facility and operational philosophy to change the way day-to-day business in polyethylene is currently conducted.
In Orlando, you’ll glimpse the future, and it’s automated and interconnected. But don’t worry, there are plenty of ways for plants of all sizes to get in on these trends.