Our staff cares about the environment, and it’s been good to demonstrate to them that as an organisation we act responsibly, says Dean Ward. Image: Rosti Group AB
Operation Clean Sweep (OCS) is an international program for preventing plastic pellets, flakes and powders from entering the natural environment. Rosti Group has signed up to the programme as part of its commitment to sustainability. Dean Ward has helped to drive changes in the way the company handles plastic resin, and he believes that the ambitious nature of the programme has been a key reason for its success.
“The main goal of OCS, their ultimate target, is to work towards zero pellet loss. I think that’s a really interesting number. There are about 42,000 pellets in a kilo of resin, and last year we used 55,000 tonnes of resin. So, setting ourselves the target of zero pellet loss is extremely ambitious. It’s a lot of pellets to keep track of!” – Dean Ward, Rosti Continuous Improvement Director
Since 2017, when Rosti Group signed up to OCS, a number of practical measures have been put in place. But, as Dean explains, educating and empowering workers at our sites has been just as important as top-down directives.
One of the first things Dean and his team did was to make sure that every drain, in all of the factories have steel mesh grids so that spilled pellets don’t wash into the water ecosystem. They also check drains for resin every week, and if they find more than two or three grains, they ask themselves, ‘where does this come from? Who dropped it?’. It’s not a blame culture, but when these things happen it’s an indicator that more education might be required.
Education has been one of the key things Rosti has done at every site. The company has done a lot of training in handling bags of pellets, and at the same time tried to communicate the importance of the actions. That has led to sites making a lot of minor changes to their processes, and these small changes really add up. Even something as simple as using green tape instead of clear tape to repair bags if they split. It gives a visual indicator so you can see where there is a weak spot, but it also makes it easier to record the number of bags that break in a week, and make more changes to procedures if necessary.
Dean Ward has also been encouraged by the response from Rosti’s employees to the OCS partnership. Employees in all of Rosti’s sites understand that there’s a problem with plastic entering the ecosystem, so when the OCS project was started, people were happy to get clear practical advice about how they could make a difference. Rosti has certainly taken a collaborative approach to OCS, and noticed that employee engagement scores at the factories have improved since implementing it.
Rosti Continuous Improvement Director
Rosti Group is signatory to Operation Clean Sweep (OCS). As part of the programme, we strive to eliminate resin pellet, flake and powder loss. This is an ambitious goal, but we recognise the damage that plastic can cause in the natural environment and we are committed to handling resin pellets responsibly.
Simply described, plastic injection moulding is a process of melting plastic pellets and injecting it into a mould or cavity to form a shape. Once the shape is formed, the material is cooled, ejected from the machine and – voilà – a finished, functional, esthetically pleasing injection moulded product or part is ready!