Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS) Statement on ABC News’ Operation Clean Sweep Claims

Washington D.C.— The Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS)  issued the following statement in response to ABC News’ piece published April 26, 2024. The following statement can be attributed to Patrick Krieger, Vice President of Sustainability for the Plastics Industry Association:  

“This ABC News report falsely implies that the plastic industry is not supportive of an international agreement to end plastic waste in the environment – nothing could be further from the truth.  Our industry has been engaged in the UN negotiations throughout the entire process of the INC with a goal of achieving a collaborative, robust international agreement that will put us on the path to ending plastic pollution worldwide.  

“Our industry created Operation Clean Sweep (OCS) to support the prevention of plastic loss from facilities and the supply chain. The OCS Malaysia program was recently launched in 2023 and we continue to work to grow the program’s adoption and impact. After being informed of this circumstance, we reached out to our local program partners and this facility to provide technical assistance and interventions to improve their operations. In the United States, our OCS third-party verification program includes visual inspection of outfalls and fence line, and our goal is to broaden adoption of that program internationally.  

“The plastic industry remains committed to our sustainability goals and we want to collaborate to find workable solutions to achieve them. Operation Clean Sweep exists to help companies improve their own practices to achieve these goals and our industry is eager to broaden this program to ensure these are carried out globally.” 

Operation Clean Sweep was founded by the Plastics Industry Association in 1991 and is managed in partnership with the American Chemistry Council’s Plastics Division. The industry-led program is dedicated to helping companies move toward zero plastic resin loss and is active in more than 60 countries worldwide. OCS members in the U.S. represent the full plastics value chain, ranging from companies making and distributing plastic, to transportation companies moving plastic, and processors manufacturing final products.  

The Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS) is the only organization that supports the entire plastics supply chain, including Equipment Suppliers, Material Suppliers, Processors, and Recyclers, representing over one million workers in our $548 billion U.S. industry. PLASTICS advances the priorities of our members who are dedicated to investing in technologies that improve capabilities and advances in recycling and sustainability and providing essential products that allow for the protection and safety of our lives. Since 1937, PLASTICS has been working to make its members, and the seventh largest U.S. manufacturing industry, more globally competitive while supporting circularity through educational initiatives, industry-leading insights and events, convening opportunities and policy advocacy, including the largest plastics trade show in the Americas, NPE2024: The Plastics Show.