The European Youth Debating Competition (EYDC) 2017 was launched with the German finals. The event, organised for the second year in a row by the European Petrochemical Association (EPCA) and PlasticsEurope, kicked off in the "Rheinisches Landestheater" in Neuss, where 50 youngsters aged between 16 and 19 years openly, emotionally and also controversially discussed the topic: "People, Planet, Profit in the Digital Age: With or without petrochemistry and plastics?”.

Students talked about indispensable and commonly used petrochemical products such as computers or sportswear, plastics innovation for modern medicine and renewable energy, but also about challenging topics like marine litter and the need for more circular economy. The students also debated on issues that are of high importance for the young generation: How interconnected will we live tomorrow? What does the digital age mean for the workplace of the future? What kind of education is required to be successful in the digital age?  

Dr Josef Ertl, president of PlasticsEurope Deutschland and member of PlasticsEurope Steering Board, took on the task to set the scene as a pro speaker. Speaking on behalf of the industry, he explained why petrochemistry is so important in today`s life and how much plastics contribute to climate protection. As a con speaker, Lukas Schaal, who once participated in a youth debate organised by PlasticsEurope and made it to the final, spoke about the less favourable side of the coin, such as pollution and overconsumption. He called for more individual accountability by minimising consumption.  
20170503145242-f_ue_9275.jpgLater, the jury consisting of representatives from industry, media, EPCA and PlasticsEurope rated the performance of the participants by taking a closer look at their arguments and presentations. It was not easy to decide which three youngsters would have the opportunity to travel to Berlin to the EYDC 2017 European finals.Here are the names of the German winners: Henning Locher, Anne Rother and Daniel Ternes.

Following this German event, six national finals will take place in France, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain and the UK. The winners from each country will qualify for the pan-European finals to be held in Berlin early October 2017.