In April 2019 the Alberta Plastics Recycling Association (APRA) Board of Directors set a guideline for its members to sign and adopt OPERATION CLEAN SWEEP ® (OCS) by 2022. OCS is a free program that provides information and a best-practice guide for pellet and flake containment. Companies become OCS signatories and are then expected to implement a plastic-loss management plan throughout their operations and with all employees.
Recent releases of pellets into the environment in Calgary and the surrounding area have brought this issue to the forefront in our own province and OCS needs to become a standard operating procedure for every organization handling plastic. The industry has a responsibility for management of its materials and companies need to take this seriously in order to maintain their social and legal license to operate.
APRA believes that we all have a responsibility to keep plastics out of the environment and wants its members to help lead by example and spread the word to vendors, partners and customers about plastics best-management practices. It is this network, encouraging the best from those you have business relationships with, that will make the adoption of OCS a success. The Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA) has set the requirement for its own members to participate and is part of a global coalition bringing attention to the issue of responsible plastics management.
At this stage, the OCS requirement is voluntary. Alberta Environment and Parks and the City of Calgary have regulatory authority to issue fines to organizations who do not have responsible housekeeping practices at their facilities. Organizations are also required to report any spills immediately to 1-800-222-6514 (24 hours) and to 311 if within Calgary City limits.
APRA members can engage with OCS depending on their operations. There are two types of OCS signatories:
The Partner Pledge: for companies that have plastics onsite.
The Supporter Pledge: For organizations that don’t deal directly with plastics, the role is defined as committing to educate and share OCS resources with others. APRA has signed up to be an OCS Supporter.
This video also has more information about the OCS process: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54QQ8t8TePY
For those of you who are already OCS signatories, thank you for your continued effort and ongoing responsible pellet management.