We sell our polymer products in the form of pellets, flakes and powders. They are handled at multiple points from creation to customer delivery. To meet our goal of zero loss of these materials into the environment, we are working with our employees, contractors, transportation partners and customers in a way that is collaborative and transparent.
We are a member of Operation Clean Sweep® (OCS), the plastics industry’s global initiative that promotes collaboration, training, and education in controlling and reducing the loss of pellets, flakes and powders. In 2019, we committed to OCS Blue, a U.S. program that enhances management and reporting requirements.
LyondellBasell has 79 polymers manufacturing, research and technical sites that produce or handle pellets, flakes and powders, with a total production capacity of 12.2 million metric tons annually. In 2020, 100% of these sites met OCS Blue requirements.
Increasing our transparency
We are reporting offsite loss of pellets, flakes and powders for the first time in this year’s report. Loss is defined as an unplanned release of polymeric solids from a site boundary in a quantity greater than 0.5 kilograms (equivalent to 1.1 pounds) in a 24-hour period. Monitoring and reporting are conducted in accordance with OCS Blue.
In 2020, a total of 12 kilograms was lost from two sites; severe weather conditions prevented the measurement of loss at a third site. We cleaned up the loss to the extent possible and conducted investigations at all three sites to determine the root cause and prevent similar incidents in the future.
Improving our processes
In 2020, we conducted more than 100 assessments of our operations to evaluate and improve pellet loss efforts, including monitoring, handling, recycling, safe disposal, cleaning and containment. We also implemented a tool to better identify opportunities to prevent pellet loss and emphasized educating and empowering our employees in their continuing support of this effort.
To learn more about our sustainability efforts, visit our page here.