Bulgarian student victorious in PlasticsEurope’s Youth Parliament Debate final

Svetoslav Kostov, a Bulgarian student, has won the European final of PlasticsEurope’s Youth Parliament Debate which took place in Rome on March 16. The young winner was the best at providing a well-rounded speech on sustainability and the role of plastics in this regard, with strong rhetorics and robust arguments. He was elected by an international jury composed of politicians, experts and journalists who judged a debating competition between 50 students from across Europe.

Svetoslav Kostov, winner of the European finale of PlasticsEurope's Youth Parliament Debate

The Youth Parliament debate was thrown open by Francesco Ferrante, member of the Italian Senate. He talked about the positive economic and environmental impact of the plastics industry, as well as the responsibility of plastics producers in helping secure a sustainable future where the legacy of Nobel Prize Giulio Natta would be perpetuated. Plastics pros and cons were then introduced by Dr. Onno Gross, president of Deep Wave, and Giuseppe Lo Faso, plant manager at Polimeri Europa.

The European final of the Youth Parliament Debate was the result of a long process that led to 50 students being selected out of 500 participants. Wilfried Haensel was very satisfied with this third edition, saying: "We want to raise the interest of young people over important issues such as climate change, the identification of new technologies for energy supply and the fundamental role of plastics in society. This pan-European debate is an effective way to educate students to a deeper and critical reading of these issues".

Many interesting points, either for or against plastics, were raised during the event. In their arguments against plastics, students mentioned bad littering habits and poor waste management practices, as well as the need for research on new raw materials that would either be easier to recycle or biodegradable. Another concern was the risk of plastics waste entering the food chain.

The main arguments in favor of plastics, on the other hand, were the idea that consumer behaviour plays a key role in minimising the impact of plastics on the environment, as well as its crucial role for innovation and in green applications such as insulation, wind turbines or environment-friendly cars.

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