Like last year as in 2017, the faculty of Chemistry at Warsaw University of Technology hosted  young people from 12 secondary schools from all over Poland who discussed the role of petrochemistry and plastics in Smart Cities of the future and how they see their living, learning, working and moving: with or without plastics and petrochemicals. The participants in their speeches focused not only on the innovative role of petrochemistry and plastics in modern society in areas such as transport, medicine, construction and packaging but they were also very much concerned on sustainability and challenges related to environmental issues, e.g. waste and littering habits with the development of better individual accountability and waste management systems.
The three winners of the Polish debate were:
- Adam Margas (Warsaw)
- Magdalena Nowakowska (Gliwice)
- Robert Ropiecki (Warsaw)
They all won a ticket to the European Finals in Vienna, as part of the 52nd
EPCA Annual Meeting, where they will discuss and debate with other young winners from Europe on the theme: ”Living, learning, working and moving in Smart Cities of the future: with or without plastics and petrochemicals?”
The main objective of the European Youth Debating Competition – a joint project organised by EPCA and PlasticsEurope – is to offer a unique opportunity for students to acquire new skills, by interacting and expressing themselves about societal and industry linked topics. For the industry, it is an opportunity to connect with the new generation, listen, learn about their views as well as their visions of our future.
All the debates organised in Belgium for a joint “Benelux” Finals, Bulgaria, Croatia, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom including the final debate in Vienna follow the same standardized structure and formula, and all students will be assessed according to the same criteria.
Kazimierz Borkowski, Managing Director of PlasticsEurope Polska underlined: “The jury looks at the way the students debate and not whether they argument from a pro or con stance, as the classification into the pro- and con-factions is done by random. In-depth research, high standards of debating skills and the ability to interact with each other are needed to convince the jury. To win, students will need to demonstrate excellent public speaking skills supported by logical and persuasive arguments.
Mariusz Bogacki, PKN ORLEN, and member of the Young EPCA Think Tank (YETT) added: I appreciate the preparation of participants in this year's debate. "They showed a great knowledge of the market and the current trends. They also applied negotiation skills during debates. I keep my fingers crossed for their next successes at the Finals in Vienna."
The European Petrochemical Association (EPCA)
Based in Brussels, EPCA is the primary European Business Network for the global petrochemical business community consisting of chemical producers, their suppliers, customers and service providers. It operates for and through more than 700-member companies from 54 different countries. EPCA organises conferences and events in Europe offering members all over the world the opportunity to meet industry leaders and selected external stakeholders and stay abreast of international market developments as well as technological and societal trends. EPCA also supports members on specific topics that underpin the sustainable development of the global petrochemical industry. EPCA promotes STEM education, with a clear focus on gender and diversity inclusion. EPCA also highlights the multidisciplinary approach and the variety of challenging career paths that the petrochemical industry offers.
PlasticsEurope is one of the leading European trade associations with centres in Brussels, Frankfurt, London, Madrid, Milan and Paris. The association is networking with European and national plastics associations and has more than 100-member companies, producing over 90% of all polymers across the EU28 member states plus Norway, Switzerland and Turkey.