8 June 2009 - Second round of Youth Parliaments now underway

Youth debate the role of plastics and sustainability

PlasticsEurope, the European Association of Plastics Manufacturers, has kicked off round two of the Youth Parliament series with events in Istanbul and Prague. Introduced in 2008, the Youth Parliament initiative brings together young people to debate sustainability and plastics. At the Istanbul Governor’s Office Parliament Hall on 30 May, and at the Parliament of the Czech Republic on 1 June, youth representatives explored the role of plastics and the material’s contribution to sustainability. Each event was attended by about 100 participants.

In Istanbul, Selçuk Aksoy, the President of the Turkish plastics industry association (PAGEV), put the case for plastics. Dr. Uygar Özesmi, the Greenpeace Mediterranean General Director, argued against plastics. The jury consisted of PAGEV board members, the Private Schools Association’s President and Vice-President, as well as two teachers selected by the Regional Ministry of Education.

In Prague, the Chairman of the conservative parliamentary majority, Jan Buergermeister, welcomed participants, and the Czech Deputy Minister of the Environment, Rut Bízková, headed the jury. Surprisingly candid and objective discussion resulted in lively debate and sound arguments from both sides.

In the first round of PlasticEurope’s Youth Parliaments in 2008, ten events took place involving 1,269 young people from eight countries. The debates were always opened by two experienced experts who set the tone for the panels. After that, four students presented initial arguments in favour of the role of plastics and another four stood up for the anti side. At the end of each national parliament session, the top ten debaters were elected by a jury. 103 of the participants qualified for the 2008 finals under the patronage of the President of the European Parliament Hans-Gert Pöttering. Žan Žveplan from Slovenia was last year’s best debater and European winner of the grand final of the European Youth Parliament initiative.

Additional PlasticsEurope Youth Parliaments will be held throughout 2009 in Italy, Germany, Poland, the United Kingdom, France and Denmark. Each national-level Parliament will select winners who will travel to Rome to participate in the grand final event. Rome was selected as the venue for the 2009 Youth Parliament final because of its place in EU history: the Treaties of Rome which established the European Community were signed in Rome in 1957.

Word document of Press release

Press Contact:
PlasticsEurope AISBL
Chris Welton
Phone: +32 (0)2 676 74 43

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