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Land-Sourced Litter

Current information on the topic of plastics in the environment

Eine Information von


Newsletter November 2023

Dear Readers,

With "Operation Clean Sweep®" (OCS), the plastics industry has launched a broadly based international initiative against pellet losses, which is now active in more than sixty countries. In order to demonstrate their commitment to a clean environment, companies along the entire plastics supply chain have, as part of the OCS® initiative, voluntarily committed themselves to avoid the discharge of plastic pellets, flakes and powders into the environment. The programme is particularly targeted at avoiding discharges into the aquatic and terrestrial environment. For this purpose, the European association of plastics producers, Plastics Europe, and the European Plastics Converters Association (EuPC), together with a committee of experts, have drawn up a certification system. OCS defines measures and requirements on how companies can install the program in their plants and facilities and how they can implement it in practice. These implementation measures are certified in corresponding audits. Plastics Europe Deutschland, KunststoffSwiss and TÜV-Nord, in cooperation with BKV GmbH, recently offered a joint webinar on the basic principles, which, as you can read in this newsletter, offers an interesting insight into the details and conditions of the certification.

At international level, an inter-governmental committee of the United Nations is currently preparing a draft for a global, legally binding agreement to combat environmental pollution through improperly disposed-of plastic waste. Some countries and environmental associations are calling for plastics production to be limited in order to get a grip on the problem and drastically reduce discharges of plastic litter into seas, rivers and onto the land by the year 2040. The significance and the concerns for the plastics industry and the chemical industry are illustrated not only by an article in our newsletter, but also becomes clear in an interview we held on this topic with Dr. Klaus Wittstock, Director Industry Affairs of BASF SE and a member of the Advisory Committee of BKV GmbH. 

A completely different perspective of plastic, namely that of the visual arts of the last seven decades, was given by an exhibition in the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, which was held from the end of June to the beginning of October. You can read more about it in this newsletter.

We wish you an interesting read and trust it will also be helpful in your work.

Kind regards,

FCIO (Austrian Chemical Industry Association)
IK Industrievereinigung Kunststoffverpackungen e.V. (German Plastics Packaging Industry Association)
PlasticsEurope Deutschland e.V.
VDMA Association Plastics and Rubber Machinery

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OCS® certification to prevent pellet losses

"Operation Clean Sweep®" (OCS) is an international programme launched by the plastics industry that sets out to avoid the leakage of plastic granules, flakes and powder, and to ensure that such materials do not get into the environment. The voluntary European OCS® certification system, which came into force in February 2023, now wants to create harmonised processes and procedures for the control and documentation of granule losses throughout the entire plastics supply chain. A joint webinar recently staged by Plastics Europe Deutschland, KunststoffSwiss and TÜV Nord, with the support of BKV, provided information about the basic principles of the OCS® certification. 

more …
Plastic Pellets on the beach

From research and science

Luminous biosensors as markers for tiny plastic particles 

In an ongoing study, a Finnish research team has tested a new method for detecting and tracking the degradation of plastics in bodies of water. The team used so-called recombinant bacterial whole-cell biosensors – in short, biosensors – which were structured in such a way that they light up on contact with the monomer acrylic acid. According to the Finnish research team, the results show that the degradation of plastic waste in freshwater and salt water could be monitored with the help of these biosensors.

more …
Marine Litter Plastic in the Ocean

Microplastic on Baltic Sea beaches stems mainly from the land

According to a study from the Geomar Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel (GEOMAR) and the Christian-Albrecht University of Kiel, microplastic on the Baltic Sea beaches of Schleswig-Holstein in northern Germany evidently stems predominantly from the beach, and is probably not caused by plastic litter in the seawater.

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Soil samples baltic sea beaches - study Geomar

From politics and industry

Roundtable on Marine Litter has been active for seven years

The Roundtable on Marine Litter has been working for seven years on recommendations for action to combat plastic pollution in the North Sea and Baltic Sea. The starting situation for setting up the Roundtable on Marine Litter was the national implementation of the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive in Germany. The Roundtable thus set out to develop concrete strategies for implementing measures to meet the national targets. At the beginning of June 2023, the participants met up with the patrons of the Roundtable, Germany's Environment Minister, Steffi Lemke, the Lower Saxony Environment Minister, Christian Meyer, and the President of the Federal Environment Agency, Dirk Messner, in Berlin, to present the results of their work to date.

Plastic waste on sand

Chemical and plastics industry support UN plastics agreement

The member states of the United Nations want to put an end to environmental pollution through plastic litter by 2040. Plastics Europe Deutschland (PED) and the Chemical Industry Association (VCI) support the overriding aim to strengthen the circular economy.

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Marine Litter on coastline


Interview with Dr. Klaus Wittstock, BASF SE, on the UN plastics agreement: "Reduction, bans or taxes on plastics are not expedient"

Dr. Klaus Wittstock is Director Industry Affairs and head of Environment Policy at the global chemicals Group BASF, and has been active for 28 years in various functions for the company. Since 2017, Wittstock, a chemical engineer, has been a member of the Advisory Committee of BKV GmbH, to which he previously belonged for over ten years as spokesman of the Technical Committee. We asked the plastics expert for his appraisal of the preparations for the global agreement of the United Nations, which aims to reduce the impact on the environment of improperly disposed-of plastic waste.

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BASF Dr. Klaus Wittstock


AEPW supports and investigates the informal waste sector in Africa

In South Africa, informal waste reclaimers make an important contribution to waste management. The Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW) has supported the project partner African Reclaimers Organisation (ARO) in a project in which new collection and sorting structures were set up and in which the workers from the informal sector were integrated. What effects – also on the so-called waste-pickers – the introduction of an obligatory deposit system for disposable beverage bottles would have in South Africa is also to be clarified in a study co-financed by the AEPW. 

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AEPW supports informal waste sector in Africa

"Plastic World" exhibition in the Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt

Plastic as an art form: From the end of June to the beginning of October, the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt dedicated a large thematic exhibition to the eventful history of plastic in the visual arts. The PLASTIC WORLD exhibition showed objects, assemblages, installations, films and documentation from nearly seven decades. More than 100 works from around 50 international artists were on show, including Christo, Niki de Saint Phalle and Tue Greenfort, who is involved with the discovery of a fungus in the Amazon region that can metabolise polyurethane.

more …
"Plastic World" exhibition, Kunsthalle Schirn, Frankfurt

Mainzer Landstraße 55
D-60329 Frankfurt/Main


Editor: Barbara Simon
Fon: +49 2131 276 500

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