Belgium: Industry-Led Program Plastics Producer Borealis Performs Pilot Audits for Zero Pellet Loss Certification Scheme
Operation Clean Sweep (OCS), a global initiative focusing on prevention of pellet loss is working on developing a unified and equitable certification scheme for pellet handlers across the entire value chain in order to achieve zero pellet loss. Under this scheme, audits will be carried out by accredited third parties to establish compliance with OCS requirements. In this background, Borealis has performed third-party external audits at two of its production locations in Kallo and Antwerp, Belgium which will be vital for finalizing the certification scheme.
Vienna/Austria – Borealis has announced that it has carried out pilot audits at two production operations in Belgium to help test pellet loss prevention standards. The audits are the first to have been undertaken by a polyolefins producer for Operation Clean Sweep (OCS), a global initiative dedicated to preventing pellet loss. This industry-led program is currently establishing unified and equitable certification scheme for pellet handlers across the entire value chain. Successful pilot audits at Borealis are an important step in finalizing the OCS certification program, whose pan-European deployment is planned for 2022.
In January of this year, PlasticsEurope, the pan-European association of plastics manufacturers and EuPC (European Plastics Converters), a leading trade association representing plastics converters, signed an agreement to collaborate on the development of a new certification system in which audits by accredited third parties are used to establish compliance with OCS requirements. Borealis was the first plastics producer to pilot the certification scheme. The pilot audits carried out at Borealis facilities in September mark the next step in establishing harmonized and equitable certification scheme for all members of the value chain. Finalization of the certification program is now underway, with deployment across Europe planned for 2022.
As part of its ongoing commitment to OCS, Borealis has implemented a range of on-site measures to prevent and address pellet loss should it occur, for example by installing retention measures like sieves, pellet separators, and skimmer ponds. A recent 7-million-dollar investment in an innovative water filtering system at Borealis productions in Schwechat, Austria, uses a custom-built solution to reduce the risk of pellet loss. It is just one example of how Borealis works with university research institutions to identify and employ the best available technologies for pellet retention.
“Our first priority as an industry must be to prevent plastics leaking into the environment. The only way to tackle this problem is for the plastics value chain to work together on a global scale to achieve zero pellet loss,” says Borealis CEO Thomas Gangl. “We believe that the Operation Clean Sweep initiative offers one of the most effective and efficient solutions to the problem.”