On Monday, 19 September, more than 50 students from the European School Brussels II and the British School in Brussels participated in the Belgian final of the European Youth Debating Competition. Held in the European School in Woluwe, the students debated on the topic "50 years of chemical industry. What’s next?”. This led to a debate on a wide range of issues, from the future of the petrochemical and plastics industry to resource efficiency, sustainability, animal welfare and even prosthesis to help victims of war and terror.
The jury, three industry representatives: Nathalie Debuyst, Communication and Education Manager, EPCA, Xavier Ruban, Commercial Manager Ethylene, Total Petrochemicals & Refining and Petri Ven, Secretary General of Federplast faced a difficult challenge in choosing the three winners. The three best speakers, going to the European Final are Kristina Krejza, Gustavs Zilgalvis and Luuk Karmarker. The three runners-up are Ryan Pugh, Susana Cardoso and Zoe Sleath.
Prior to their debate, all 52 students had the opportunity to sharpen their arguments by listening to the debates’ PRO and CON speakers, namely Richard Northcote, Chief Sustainability Officer at Covestro - highlighting the benefits the petrochemical and plastics industry – and Emma Priestland, Marine Litter Policy Officer at Seas at Risk – emphasizing the environmental challenges Europe is facing today.
The main objectives of the European Youth Debating Competitions 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 Debating Competitions (www.eydc.eu) targeting young students aged 16 to 19, throughout nine EU countries.
- Kristina Krejza
- Gustavs Zilgalvis
- Luuk Karmarker
- Ryan Pugh
- Susana Cardoso
- Zoe Sleath