Operation Clean Sweep: What the Pledge Means to Us

petoskeyplastics Certifications, Eco-Friendly, Recycling, Sustainability

Our Morristown, Tenn. rail spur is frequently cleaned of all resin pellets that may have leaked during the pumping of railcars.

Operation Clean Sweep (OCS) is a campaign supported by the Plastics Industry Association and the American Chemistry Council. This campaign aims to have “zero pellet, flake, and powder loss” from all plastic resin handling operations. Many companies and organizations have shown their support and become partners by signing the OCS pledge. Joining this program means committing to properly dealing with handling pellets, flakes, and powders and maintaining state and local regulations.

Resin pellets from plastic handling facilities appearing in waterways is usually unintentional and hard to catch if you are not paying attention. Small pellets can get lodged in the grooves of a shoe and follow an associate out to the parking lot where rain washes the pellets into the storm drains. Or, while unloading resin from trucks or trains, stray flakes could fall enter the ecosystem. OCS encourages facilities to look at all the areas where resin could be exiting the facility and entering the outside environment to avoid instances like the above.

In our Morristown, Tenn. plant, we have taken many measures to ensure resin pellets are not being introduced to the environment while entering our facility. In 2019, with the construction of our addition, the rail spur was asphalted and extended. Tactics to keep the rail spur clean of resin include:

  • Catch trays for use at all railcar unloading valves
  • Connecting hoses equipped with automatically closing valves that shut if the connection is broken
  • Proper emptying and sealing of bulk rail containers prior to shipment
  • Portable shop vacuums for outside use as well as brooms, dustpans, rakes, etc.
  • Screening in all storm drains with the screening mesh smaller than the smallest pellet handled at the facility

Petoskey Plastics has been a partner of OCS since 2019 but has cared about keeping plastic out of waterways for much longer. Not only are we big fans of Michigan’s Great Lakes that our Petoskey headquarters and plant are on the shores of, but we know the value of all waterways, big and small, and have always aimed to protect them. So much so, the three blue waves in our logo are partly meant to represent our efforts to protect important water resources (the other meaning has to do with our 3-layer technology, which you can learn more about here).

OCS has partners across the United States and has been adopted in many other countries. Petoskey Plastics is proud to have signed the Pledge to Prevent Resin Pellet, Flake, and Powder Loss and is committed to maintain and uphold that duty. To learn more about Operation Clean Sweep, check out their Prevent Material Loss video or head over to their website. You can also take the company or employee pledge here

Stay tuned as we discuss more certifications and programs in the future.