A New Standard for Plastic Pellet Handling & Management


The British Standards Institute (BSI) recently published a new standard, one aimed at reducing the amount of plastic pellets, flakes, and powders polluting waterways around the world. PAS 510:2021 targets the loss of pellets along the supply chain by addressing risk management and plastic pellet handling. Created by a multi-stakeholder steering committee which included input from Fidra, NGOs, policymakers, industry representatives, retailers, and regulators, PAS 510:2021 builds on existing pellet loss guidelines established by Operation Clean Sweep, a program and manual designed to help reduce plastic waste in marine environments.

Currently available for free from the BSI, this standard is intended for use by plastic manufacturers as well as those companies responsible for transporting pellets. PAS 510:2021 covers operational controls, continual improvement, and performance evaluation for companies, specifically targeting supply chain management and operational processes. With plastic pellet leakage and spills during manufacturing and transportation significantly contributing to pellet pollution across the globe, this standard includes a comprehensive checklist of processes and procedures companies can use to attain zero pellet loss. By providing companies with a standardized approach to risk management, this standard helps to assure investors, customers, and relevant stakeholders that the company is invested in mitigating their environmental footprint and preventing plastic pellet pollution. For many companies, adopting this new voluntary standard is a proactive step towards reducing the risk of plastic pellet loss into the environment and creating a culture of environmental responsibility.

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About the author: Lisa Scobel is a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she is pursuing a master’s in Environmental Conservation. A native of the Gulf Coast, Lisa is devoted to protecting coastal ecosystems and is passionate about reducing plastic pollution. Currently, Lisa is focused on expanding Nurdle Patrol by generating new partnerships and promoting data collection efforts.