Overview

A Simple Step

If you could take a simple step to help strengthen your company’s:

  • contribution to preserving water quality and wildlife;
  • compliance with state regulations and avoidance of fines;
  • safety/housekeeping program;
  • employees’ well-being;
  • operational efficiency;
  • financial bottom line; and
  • Reputation in the community.

...would you take it?

That step is Operation Clean SweepR, a product stewardship program of the American Chemistry Council and The Plastics Industry Association.

Achieving Zero Pellet Loss

The campaign’s goal is: to help every plastic resin handling operation implement good housekeeping and pellet containment practices to work towards achieving zero pellet loss.

Pellet loss has many negative impacts on individual companies, on the plastics industry as a whole and on the environment.

  • Slips and falls are a major cause of plastics industry accidents.
  • Accidents mean lost time, higher worker compensation costs and lower employee morale.
  • Violations of storm water regulations in states like Victoria can result in penalties of more than $700,000 if taken to court.
  • Spilled pellets eventually end up in our oceans. Whether they’re handled in a Canberra plant or a seaside facility, pellets get to storm drains that lead to oceans — causing eyesores and a threat to marine life.

When the industry handles pellets as responsibly as possible:

  • Pellets are kept out of the natural environment including waterways and oceans;
  • Companies enhance their reputations as good stewards of the environment — an increasingly important factor for attracting investment, the community and high-quality employees; and
  • More material becomes product rather than waste, improving efficiency.

The ultimate goal of Operation Clean Sweep® is to help keep plastic pellets out of the environment, but these efforts can also help improve relations with stakeholder groups and community organisations that expect the industry to minimise its environmental footprint.

The industry needs every processor’s help to get results.

The manual and this website provide the information and resources you need to either launch a new employee outreach program or to build on Operation Clean Sweep® efforts you may have started.

If you are already following the Operation Clean Sweep® principles, or plan to, then take the Pledge and be recognised for your commitment.

Take The Pledge

Plastic Pellets in the Environment

In recent years and with increasing frequency, researchers have reported that seabirds, turtles and fish are ingesting a wide variety of plastic items that are killing them or affecting their health. Most of these plastics are used consumer products (e.g. bottles, caps, containers, etc.) that have been carelessly discarded. Some of this litter is resin pellets that entered the waste stream and the oceans. When these pellets are eaten by wildlife they cannot be passed through their digestive tracts, leading to malnutrition and starvation.

While consumers are responsible for the proper disposal of the products they use, the plastics industry must focus on proper containment of the products we use – plastic pellets, the basic raw material of our industry. We must prevent the pellets from getting into waterways that eventually lead to the sea.

All employees in every aspect of the industry must be educated on how to properly handle and dispose of plastic pellets with the goal of zero pellet loss.

Take The Pledge

Explore Our Resources

Find the Australian Operation Clean Sweep® manual and checklists which can be customised to suit the needs of your company.

Our Resources