13. January 2021
Topic:  Responsibility

ORLEN Unipetrol signs Operation Clean Sweep

ORLEN Unipetrol signs Operation Clean Sweep

Environmental protection and the implementation of circular economy principles are two important pillars of ORLEN Unipetrol’s strategy. In harmony with these objectives, Chairman of the ORLEN Unipetrol Group Board of Directors Tomasz Wiatrak and Member of the Board of Directors Ryszard Pilch have signed the international declaration Operation Clean Sweep (OCS).

OCS aims to prevent the escape of plastic particles into the environment with the goal of zero plastic pellet loss. Signing the OCS pledge demonstrates ORLEN Unipetrol commitment to adopt the necessary measures needed to achieve this ambitious objective.

Preventing material loss

The first step in preventing materials loss is identifying locations where plastic particle escape occurs. ORLEN Unipetrol representatives and an appropriate expert will assess all production sites to determine specific loss points, e.g. during transport or while mixing materials.

Once escape points have been found, it’s time to upgrade existing processes. Certain solutions are surprisingly cheap and simple, while others call for ingenuity and investment. Sometimes it’s as simple as placing a tray under a device or increasing the amount of accessible waste containers. Loss reduction in other places, for example during the mixing process, requires investments into protective barrier construction around the mixer.

Employee involvement – success guarantee

Employee training and education are crucial for successfully integrating new procedures into daily operation. After implementing the first two steps – identification and upgrade – the company must familiarise its workers with the reasons behind and objectives of the adopted measures, and teach them the best practices to achieve their goals.

The company’s role doesn’t end with introducing the new techniques. Achieving an objective as ambitious as zero pellet loss requires not only thorough compliance but also continued improvement and innovation.

Onward to a cleaner future

Operation Clean Sweep states that the amount of plastic particles in waterways has already been reduced since its introduction. We can thus conclude that the initiative plays an important role in reducing plastics loss, thus lowering environmental impact.

This is precisely why ORLEN Unipetrol has proudly joined this initiative. In 2021 it will undergo an audit of its production processes and implement the appropriate measures to prevent plastic pellet loss. 

“At ORLEN Unipetrol Group, we are working – through the continuous improvement and modernisation of operational activities – to minimise the impact of our activities on the environment. As an important petrochemicals producer, we are taking responsibility for preventing the spread of plastics in the environment and are joining an important global activity that will enable us to take the next important steps on our path towards sustainability,” said Chairman of the ORLEN Unipetrol Group Board of Directors Tomasz Wiatrak about the significance of joining the Operation Clean Sweep.

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