16 June 2009 - Winners of Debate Youth Parliament 2009 in Kraków to Attend European Final Debate in Rome

The young debate on the role of plastics in sustainable development

On last Monday 15 June, the Youth Parliament 2009 held a debate in Kraków, on the role of plastics in climate protection and energy-saving economy. This educational initiative organised by the Foundation PlasticsEurope Polska, is designed to enhance young people’s awareness of contemporary challenges entailed by economic and social development. In course of the debate, a jury selected from 104 participants the 10 best speakers, who were then awarded with a journey the coming November to the European session of the Youth Parliament in Rome, to discuss the same topic with students from other European countries. The Debate of Youth Parliament 2009 enjoyed support of the Ministry of Environment, and the Ministry of National Education. Also the Mayor of City Kraków, prof. Jacek Majchrowski, assumed honorary patronage over the debate.

The almost three hours-long debate focused on such issues as energy saving, climate and natural environment protection. The deabte was opened by welcome of Grzegorz Rytko. Managing Director of PlasticsEurope Polska and pro-contra speeches: Karol Marek Sêp, v-ce President of BasellOrlen Polyolefins (Polish PE and PP producer) as a pro speaker and Dominik Dobrowolski from “Our Earth Foundation” as a contra speaker. Young people from more than a dozen post-secondary schools from Lesser Poland voivodeship, from cities Kraków, Tarnów, Olkusz, Miechów and Niepo³omice, presented enthusiastically their opinions and convictions about plastics. Both supporters and opponents of plastics defended their positions, but at the same time attentively listening to counter-arguments. Both parties agreed on the significant role of plastics in packaging, transport, medicine and communication technologies. Also, everybody pointed to the imperative of resolving the problems associated with plastic waste management.

"I am impressed by how seriously young people address such issues, as rational use of natural resources, energy saving or climate and environment protection. And they do not forget about modern technologies, for in the 21st century it is hard to imagine the functioning of technologically advanced societies without plastics. The branches of the economy that do not generally apply plastics, are few", said Grzegorz Rytko, Managing Director of the Foundation PlasticsEurope Polska. „However, the general use of this type of materials requires responsibility, knowledge and proper education. The young who took part in the debate, are already aware that it will fall to them to resolve in the coming decades the problems of rational use of natural resources, meeting the rising demand for energy, climate and environment protection, simultaneously applying the potential of new technologies”, Grzegorz Rytko added.

The debate was very exciting, perhaps additionally due to the atmosphere of the place where it happened, namely, the Session Room of the Council of City Kraków, situated in the historical Wielopolski Palace. In the end 10 persons won the contest, but all students who joined the debate, were the true protagonists of the meeting.

The winners are:

   1. Roger Barlik - Liceum Ogólnoksztalcace w Niepo³omicach
   2. Bartosz Gauza - I Liceum Ogólnoksztalcace w Krakowie
   3. Kamil Dobrowolski - I Liceum Ogólnoksztalcace w Krakowie
   4. Marta Janeczek - III Liceum Ogólnoksztalcace w Krakowie
   5. Joanna Kawa - I Liceum Ogólnoksztalcace w Tarnowie
   6. Agnieszka Kosakowska - XVI Liceum Ogólnoksztalcace im. K.K. Baczyñskiego w Krakowie
   7. Agnieszka Paœko - III Liceum Ogólnoksztalcace w Krakowie
   8. Piotr Pêkalski - I Liceum Ogólnoksztalcace w Krakowie
   9. Katarzyna Wójcik - XVI Liceum Ogólnoksztalcace im. K.K. Baczyñskiego w Krakowie
  10. Mateusz Wybierek - Liceum Ogólnoksztalcace w Niepo³omicach

The jury, composed of representatives of administration, industry, science, environmental organisation, teachers and mass media, evaluated the following aspects: substantial value of speeches, interesting arguments, independence of opinions, and presentation skills.

The jury of Youth Parlament 2009 in Cracow consisted of:
  • Edwin Bendyk – journalist of prestigious weekly magazine „Polityka”
  • Kazimierz Borkowski – President of Arkema Sp. z o.o.
  • Tomasz Chlebicki - President Dow Polska Sp. z o.o
  • Dominik Dobrowolski – V-ce President „Our Earth Foundation
  • Krzysztof Kafel – Ministry of National Education
  • Jaros³aw Kret – journalist of public TV
  • Prof. dr hab. Jan Pielichowski – Faculty of Polymer Chemistry, Cracow University of Technology
  • Grzegorz Rytko – Managing Director, Fundacja PlasticsEurope Polska
  • Karol Marek Sêp - v-ce President of BasellOrlen Polyolefins Sp. z o.o.
This year’s domestic debate in Kraków took place within the framework of the already second edition of the international contest "Youth Parliament", its pilot edition held in Warsaw in 2007. Its winners together with representatives of similar debates organised in 10 other EU countries, joined last year the final all-European debate in Brussels, in the building of the European Parliament, held under the auspices of its president, Hans-Gert Pöttering. This year, Rome was selected to host the European contest finals, due to its historical role in the process of creating the European Union. The Rome Treaties of 1957 were signed exactly there, including the one that established the European Economic Community (EEC), which has become the foundation of the European Union.

Word document of Press release

Press Contact:
PlasticsEurope Polska
Anna Kozera-Szalkowska
Phone: +38 (22) 630 99 01 or (0)695 915 917

Editors' note:

PlasticsEurope is one of the leading European trade associations with centers in Brussels, Frankfurt, London, Madrid, Milan and Paris. We are networking with European and national plastics associations and have more than 100 member companies, producing over 90% of all polymers across the EU27 member states plus Norway, Switzerland, Croatia and Turkey.

The European plastics industry makes a significant contribution to the welfare in Europe by enabling innovation, creating quality of life to citizens and facilitating resource efficiency and climate protection. More than 1.6 million people are working in about 50.000 companies (mainly small and medium sized companies in the converting sector) to create a turnover in excess of 300 billion € per year.

The plastics industry includes polymer producers - represented by PlasticsEurope, converters - represented by EuPC and machine manufacturers - represented by EUROMAP. For further info see the web links: www.plasticseurope.org, www.plasticsconverters.eu, www.euromap.org