A project to develop a specification that will help prevent plastic pellet pollution is soon to get under way, BSI, the UK National Standards Body, has announced.
Funding for the project is being provided by various sponsors, including Marine Scotland, the British Plastics Federation (BPF) and a number of investors through The Investor Forum who are being represented by Fauna & Flora International (FFI). According to Victoria Sant, a senior adviser at the Investor Forum, it is the first time investors have sponsored a specification to improve corporate behaviour.
The new specification - the first of its kind - is expected to publish in July 2021. The fast-tracked standardization document will be called the Publicly Available Specification 510 (PAS 510) Plastic pellets, flakes and powders – Handling and management throughout the supply chain to prevent their leakage to the environment – Specification.
It is intended to provide an important tool for companies to demonstrate good practice in pellet loss prevention measures across the supply chain and build on the existing plastic industry’s programme Operation Clean Sweep which is coordinated by the British Plastics Federation (BPF) in the UK. It will set out measures and offer comprehensive guidance and tools to prevent the leakage of plastic pellets, flakes and powders, collectively referred to as pellets, into the environment and demonstrate procedures for continual improvement.
“As the loss of valuable raw material along the supply chain has serious environmental and economic consequences, the plastics industry is taking a proactive approach to successfully mitigate this risk,” said BPF Sustainability Executive Adela Putinelu.
The standardization document will be developed by a steering group consisting of experts from across the international supply chain including plastics manufacturers, transportation, retailing and recycling organizations.
"We are working with a range of experts to agree best practice to prevent the leakage of plastic pellets into the environment," said David Fatscher, Head of Environment, Social and Governance Standards at BSI. “Plastic pollution is a complex global issue that requires urgent collaboration and action between governments and the corporate sector to help stop pellets making their way into the ocean each year.”