As in other parts of the world, Denmark is witnessing an increasing number of reports illustrating the amounts of litter carelessly discarded found on our beaches. Small items of litter or fragments of litter can be ingested by wildlife and affect their health. Some of this litter is made of resin pellets that entered the waste stream and the oceans. When these pellets are eaten by wildlife, they cannot be processed by their digestive tracts, leading to malnutrition and starvation. While consumers are responsible for the proper disposal of the products they use, the plastics industry must focus on proper containment of its products. The DPF is working with PlasticsEurope and other plastics industry associations to find solutions that will prevent the pellets getting into waterways that finally lead to the sea. One of the initiatives includes educating all employees at plastics plants on how to properly handle and dispose of plastic pellets with the goal of reaching zero pellet losses at each step of the production and logistic processes. The DPF is taking an active role in helping to shape solutions to this complex societal issue. Plastics should not end up in the oceans and marine litter is not acceptable. A communication toolkit is currently under development which will allow us to raise awareness among industry workers. It will inform them of the effects of resin pellets on the environment as a first step to encouraging a revision of the procedures and wastewater systems used in factories. Operation Clean Sweep is already active in the US and the UK.
Operation Clean Sweep – Denmark