The Ocean Starts Here: Meet America’s Change Makers

America's Change Makers are working at all levels to help keep plastic pellets out of our environment, including our waterways and oceans.

A child’s toy. A hard hat. A car’s airbag. A milk jug. A medical syringe…

It usually starts with a small pellet.

Most products made from plastics are born from petite plastic pellets. Plastic makers use engineering and chemistry to transform raw materials into plastic “resin,” a solid plastic material that is shaped into countless pellets, each about the size of a split pea.


These pellets are then shipped to thousands of businesses across the globe that mold them into everyday, essential, and often lifesaving plastic products. Like a sneaker, a cell phone, or a respirator.

As a critical part of our world’s supply chain, it’s important to make these innovative materials available to the enterprises that need them. It’s equally important to manage these pellets throughout their short or long journey. From plastics facilities… en route across town or the globe… and to the companies that make the plastic products.

These plastic pellets belong in commerce. And out of our environment, including our waterways and oceans.

Meet America’s Change Makers at LyondellBasell. Plastic makers who know “The Ocean Starts Here.”

Hear from Candace. Doug. Johnathan. Josh. Kaylin. Wyatte.

At their plastics facilities, it’s not just one person’s job to manage pellets responsibly. It’s a team job. From the front office to the engineers to the custodians, everyone plays a role in helping keep plastic pellets where they belong.

Candace: “It’s pretty much just protecting the environment. We’re making sure pellets are off the ground which is how they get out in the environment. And that’s not what we want. We’re trying to protect our environment, so we try to keep the plant as clean as possible.”


Awareness of litter in the ocean has increased over the last several years. For example, appropriately discarding and even recycling used plastic where possible are actions we all can take to protect our environment for generations to come.

Plastic makers like LyondellBasell have encouraged all companies that make, transport, or use these pellets to manage them carefully and employ robust stewardship practices to help prevent losing them to the environment. These widespread efforts have resulted in improvements according to “…several studies from around the globe…”[1]

Good news, but we’re committed to do more. Because the ultimate goal of implementing these stewardship practices is simple: preventing pellets from escaping into the environment. Period.

Because as Johnathan says:

“The ocean starts here. To me, this is where my impact to the community and the environment starts. That’s what it means to me. So any action that I take right here can all end up helping the community and the environment. Even if I don’t see it.”

We wish the LyondellBasell team continued success.

America’s Plastic Makers encourage all members of the plastics value chain – from plastics makers to shippers and converters to processers – to participate in stewardship programs such as Operation Clean Sweep®.

Marine Anthropogenic Litter, 2015
“Long-term studies on seabirds have shown that measures to reduce loss of plastics to the environment do have relatively rapid effects. After considerable attention to the massive loss of industrial pellets to the marine environment in the early 1980s, improvements in production and transport methods were reflected in a visible result in the marine environment within one to two decades: several studies from around the globe showed that by the early 2000s the number of industrial granules in seabird stomachs had approximately halved from levels observed in the 1980s (Van Franeker and Meijboom 2002; Vlietstra and Parga 2002; Ryan 2008; Van Franeker et al. 2011; Van Franeker and Law 2015). These examples indicate that it is possible to reduce deleterious impacts from marine plastic debris on marine wildlife in shorter time frames than the longevity of the material might suggest.”