GPCA adopts new initiative for members in Arabian Gulf

Published: 20 September 2020 - 3 a.m.
By: Martin Menachery

The Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA), the voice of the chemical industry in the Arabian Gulf, has adopted a new initiative for members on the occasion of World Cleanup Day 2020, aimed at improving sustainability and best environmental practices at plastic manufacturing and logistics operations in the GCC.

Practiced in over 60 countries and thousands of plants around the world, Operation Clean Sweep (OCS) arrives in the region for the first time to enable good housekeeping and pellet containment practices at plastic resin handling operations. The global initiative is aimed at ultimately achieving zero pellet, flake, and powder loss and contributing to global efforts by plastic producers today to protect the environment and minimise their environmental footprint.

The initiative is of great significance for the region, as Arabian Gulf plastic producers manufacture 32.3 million metric tonnes of polymers annually. Pellet, flake, and powder loss is a growing problem, which can have an economic and business cost in the tune of $1.5bn every year excluding environmental and reputational damage among local communities.

OCS is a product stewardship programme of the American Chemistry Council’s Plastics Division and Plastics Industry Association in the US. It is aligned with GPCA’s commitment to the Declaration of the Global Plastics Associations for Solutions on Marine Litter, specifically focusing on area #6 – “to address marine litter at the source through plastic pellet containment”.

Dr Abdulwahab Al-Sadoun, secretary general, GPCA, commented: “GPCA is steadfast in its resolve to champion this important initiative in the Arabian Gulf and empower both our member companies and their employees to drive change from the ground up. As demonstrated in our recent Responsible Care Performance Metrics report , the regional chemical industry is in the leadership position in environment, health, safety, and security (EHS&S) performance, and its commitment to sustainability will only be strengthened by Operation Clean Sweep. When compared to alternative materials, plastics reduce environmental costs by nearly four times , and adopting more robust pellet containment practices will help improve the industry’s sustainability impact even further.”

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