Major players in the Australian plastics industry are committing to reducing environmental pollution by signing up to Operation Clean Sweep. Founded in the USA in the early 1990s, and already widely adopted in 22 countries worldwide, the programme was launched in Australia last year to address the pollution risk due to plastic resin pellets unintentionally being released to the environment during production and transportation.
So far, seven leading companies and industry bodies have signed up to the programme in Australia. Dow Chemical, Qenos, Visy, LyondellBasell, Co-Ex Films, Innovia Films and the Australian Packaging Covenant have signed up to implement Operation Clean Sweep into their operations, committing to reduce the loss of plastic resin pellets into the environment.
Co-Ex Films was one of the first to sign up, and according to Director Steve McNaughton, “Our factory guys quickly understood and implemented suggested handling, warehousing and clean-up programmes supplied by Operation Clean Sweep Australia to minimise spillages. We have incorporated the relevant procedures into our Quality Policy ISO 9001:2008.”
“It’s up to all of us in the industry to take responsibility to ensure we operate ethically,” he added.
Operation Clean Sweep is not only an environmental initiative, it also makes sound financial sense. Improved handling of the raw plastic granules reduces waste and creates a safer workplace by eliminating the risk of slips and falls.
The Operation Clean Sweep website includes a free manual and a series of modifiable checklists to help companies implement the programme. Companies can also “Take the Pledge” to adopt the programme, and be listed on the site to emphasise their commitment to reducing pellet loss and protecting their environment.
Operation Clean Sweep Australia