Operation Clean Sweep, the international programme designed to prevent resin pellet, flake, and powder loss and help keep this material out of the marine environment, is moving ahead with plans for a voluntary certification scheme, according to a joint announcement from Plastics Europe, the association of plastics manufacturers in Europe, and EuPC, the association of European Plastics Converters.
Following several years of continuous development and adoption of the OCS programme, which, to date has attracted commitments from over 1600 companies and sites across the plastics value chain, the two associations have undertaken to jointly develop and an OCS certification scheme, with plans to launch in 2022. This certification scheme aims at controlling and documenting compliance with OCS requirements targeting minimisation of pellet loss across the entire plastic supply chain. This will be achieved, among others, through the standardisation of pellet loss prevention practices and a common reporting format. Key performance indicators will be identified for all companies, focussing on what is needed to monitor in-plant implementation of measures;
In addition, an audit protocol is being developed under the supervision of a multi-stakeholders committee, comprised of policymakers, NGOs, certification bodies and industry representatives. This will also support the effective, harmonised, and quantifiable implementation of the OCS programme while third-party audits will serve to promote the external credibility of the scheme. The externally audited companies compliant with the certification scheme will be registered on a publicly available on-line Public Register.
According to Plastics Europe, the aim is to have 100% of PlasticsEurope OCS signatories externally audited by 2025.
In the interests of transparency and inclusiveness, EuPC and Plastics Europe have now opened a public consultation to gather input from various stakeholders on the proposed scheme, including its detailed audit requirements and associated checklist.
Interested parties are invited to take part in the public consultation until 29 May here.