National Winners from across Europe heading to final of the European Youth Debating Competition

EPCA and PlasticsEurope bring youngsters together to debate on the role of sciences and sustainability

Thirty students who won their national debates across Europe will now participate in the European Final of the European Youth Debating Competition (EYDC) 2016 in Budapest, Hungary. This initiative of EPCA and PlasticsEurope will be held within the framework of the 50th EPCA Anniversary Annual Meeting on the 2nd of October. Finalists from 9 national debates will represent their countries to discuss the overarching theme "50 years of Chemical Industry. What’s Next?”. 

Between April and September 2016, national competitions were held in Belgium, Croatia, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, and the United Kingdom where young students between 16 and 19 debated about how they imagine their future: with or without the petrochemical industry and plastics. In total, about 500 students received the opportunity to discuss and debate on the role of petrochemical and plastics in the future.   

"We launched the European Youth Debating Competition not only to promote STEM education but also to hear what today’s youth, and tomorrow’s leaders, had to tell us. Their views contribute to our reflection on the future development of our industry while finding solutions to tomorrow’s challenges”, explains Cathy Demeestere, CEO of EPCA. "The plastics and chemical industries live and breathe innovation. We need future scientists to be ready when we pass on the torch, allowing them to continue towards a more environmentally sustainable future”, concluded Karl-H. Foerster, Executive Director of PlasticsEurope.   

A jury composed of representatives of the industry, the press, academics, NGO’s, EPCA and PlasticsEurope will select the ten European winners of this outstanding competition, giving a unique opportunity for students to express themselves in a convincing way and for our industries to connect, listen and learn about their views. 

The award ceremony will take place on Tuesday the 4th of October at 13:00, with EPCA keynote speaker Herman Van Rompuy, former President of the European Council (2009-2014), together with EPCA President Tom Crotty and Karl-H Foerster, Executive Director of PlasticsEurope delivering the prizes to the ten winners of the EYDC 2016.

Editor’s Note: 
The main objectives of the European Youth Debating Competition and its organisers from the petrochemical and plastics industry are to promote STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) as well as to inform about sustainability and resource efficiency, all of them being key ingredients for the future of both industry sectors and the overall competitiveness of the European Union. To reach this, EPCA and PlasticsEurope have launched this new series of the European Youth Debating Competition (www.eydc.eu) targeting young students aged 16 to 19, throughout nine EU countries. 


Based in Brussels, EPCA is the quality network in Europe for the global chemical 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 provides a platform to meet, exchange information and transfer learning, and serves as a think tank for its members and stakeholders. EPCA promotes STEM education, with a clear focus on gender and diversity inclusion. EPCA also underscores that the chemical industry is a good industry to work for.

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.
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  • Today some oil-based plastics are biodegradable, thereby contributing to a sustainable future! (Photo:©2001-2016 BASF SE)
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