News for the plastics and rubber industry. Macplas
Environment Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Zero plastic pellet and dust loss

During the past months, all the production plants of the RadiciGroup High Performance Polymers Business Area have signed a formal pledge to become an Operation Clean Sweep (OCS) Partner. The OCS is an international programme supported by Plastics Europe, China Plastics Processing Industry Association, Brazil Plastics Association and American Chemistry Council and Plastics and designed to prevent plastic pellet and powder loss into the environment. The special focus is on materials handling and transport operations, from the arrival of raw materials to the departure of semi-finished products to be delivered to customers.

“The problem of the release of plastics into the environment is being tackled by our industry through awareness raising actions and initiatives designed and implemented over time, which require real commitment on the part of the companies involved in the value supply chain. Our Group has also taken on this challenge - which has reached global dimensions - by joining various industry association initiatives, one of which is Operation Clean Sweep”, stressed Danilo Micheletti, COO of RadiciGroup High Performance Polymers.

Operation Clean Sweep (OCS) is an industrial programme that involves the whole value chain, including transport and logistics. RadiciGroup High Performance Polymers has decided to join the initiative on a voluntary basis, incorporating it as part of the Group’s Sustainability Policy. Indeed, RadiciGroup has long made the principle of sustainable development its business strategy by measuring and reporting on the environmental impact of its processes and products, in order to attain continuous improvement in all its business areas.

The OCS programme is implemented in five main stages, as defined below. These stages are not exhaustive, but are intended to serve as encouragement for the partner companies to never let their guard down and to persist in their search for new goals:

- Commitment: take the formal pledge;

- Assessment: carry out an inspection to assess the company’s situation and analyse production lines, warehouses, silos and external areas;

- Upgrade: establish the measures needed to be implemented in order to reduce any loss reported by the audit;

- Raise awareness: develop the awareness of the issue at hand among all people concerned - from employees to suppliers and transporters;

- Follow up: conduct a company audit to verify whether releases have actually been reduced.

“In all our plants around the world, we’ve completed the Commitment and Assessment stages, and, despite all the precautions previously taken, we discovered that there was still room for improvement. We have already started on the third and fourth stages of OCS, following the programme guidelines and collaborating with industry associations. We believe that the ‘raise awareness’ stage is of fundamental importance to achieve increasingly ambitious objectives, and, for this reason, we are working on special training programmes on OCS issues, taking into account the distinctive characteristics of each production site and the cultural differences among the countries where we operate”, Micheletti explained.