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Operation Clean Sweep: An Important Step in Preventing Pellet Loss in the Plastics Industry

Plastic pellets make up approximately two percent of all plastic waste in the environment. Operation Clean Sweep (OCS) is a voluntary initiative to minimize these pellet losses in the plastics industry - an important contribution to environmental protection. SKZ Plastics Center in Würzburg, Germany, offers OCS certification to its customers.

November 29, 2023
Operation Clean Sweep

SKZ in Würzburg offers OCS certification to its customers. The aim is to prevent plastic granulate from entering the environment. (Photo: Eric Dale Creative -

SKZ Plastics Center offers OCS Certification

Operation Clean Sweep (OCS) is taking a significant step toward environmental protection and sustainability. This voluntary initiative aims to drastically reduce pellet losses in the plastics industry and harmonize measures to prevent them. This ground-breaking system has been developed in close cooperation with the European Plastics Converters Association (EuPC) and PlasticsEurope, the association of plastics manufacturers in Europe. With an experienced team of qualified auditors operating throughout Europe, SKZ is a reliable partner for OCS certification.

Why is a single standard necessary?
Studies have shown alarming figures: about two percent of all plastic waste in the environment consists of plastic granules, making plastic granule losses the second largest source of primary microplastics. Operation Clean Sweep (OCS) was developed by the plastics industry to address this pressing issue.
The OCS certification system defines best practices for preventing plastic pellet loss, creates verifiable commitments, and promotes collaboration with policy makers to establish uniform standards along the plastics supply chain and ultimately achieve the ultimate goal: ZERO PALLET LOSS - no plastic pellets, flakes or powders released into the environment

Who is behind the program?
The Operation Clean Sweep certification standard and initiative was jointly launched by EuPC, the European Plastics Converters Association, and Plastics Europe, the European Plastics Manufacturers Association. The OCS certification standard was published in 2022. The development of the standard involved collaboration with numerous industry experts, trade associations, NGOs, policy makers and certification bodies.

Prevention is key
Christoph Schrader, Head of Product Certification and Surveillance at SKZ Testing Division, says: "Once plastic ends up in rivers and oceans, it's too late - we need prevention to continuously reduce the amount of plastic entering the oceans. Operation Clean Sweep helps us prevent plastic loss where it occurs. We are proud to be one of the first certification bodies to be recognized for this and to make a significant contribution to sustainability.

Valuable quality feature
Alexander Ebenbeck, Sales Manager of SKZ Testing, adds: "Companies using plastic pellets should not underestimate the future importance of OCS certification. It is not only good for the
environment, but also a valuable quality feature that strengthens consumer confidence and thus also represents a competitive advantage".

Shared responsibility
Operation Clean Sweep is an important step toward a sustainable future for the plastics industry and underscores the shared responsibility to minimize plastic pellet losses and protect our environment. Companies along the plastics supply chain that join the OCS certification standard are making a positive contribution to preserving our world.

Learn more about OCS Certification

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Contact Person:

Christoph Schrader
Business Unit Manager | Certification & Surveillance

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