On 9 October, 10 winners of the 2019 European Youth Debating Competition (EYDC) were announced during the 53rd EPCA Annual Meeting. Aged between 15 and 19 years, the ten came from a group of 23 debaters who had previously won their respective national finals. All debated on the overarching theme of “Rethink, Reuse, Recycle: how would you shape a sustainable future with plastics and petrochemicals?”.

The debate Jury, made up of representatives from the petrochemical and plastics industry, brand owners (adidas) and NGOs (Ozeankind®), selected the ten winners because of their knowledge, their ability to express themselves and to interact with each other.

Pascal Lamy, Chair of the Paris Peace Forum, Former director general of the WTO and former EU trade Commissioner, was joined by Marc Schuller, EPCA President and Executive Vice-President, Arkema and with Mark Williams, PlasticsEurope Vice President, Vice President SABIC Europe personally congratulated the top winners and presented them with prizes.

The winners are:

  1. Ms Lorena FERRARINI (Age: 17; Brussels, Belgium)
  2. Ms Lilien GYABAAH (Age: 18; London, United Kingdom)
  3. Ms Valeria SCHELL (Age: 16; Grevenbroich, Germany)
  4. Ms Latoya MICHIELSEN (Age:17; Schilde, Belgium)
  5. Mr Aidan CAIRNS (Age: 17; Loches, France)
  6. Mr Alexander James HOOK (Age: 17; London, United Kingdom)
  7. Ms Charlotte Ella COPEMAN (Age: 15; Loughton, United Kingdom)
  8. Mr Tomas PEREZ STOPPA (Age: 17; Salou, Spain)
  9. Ms Alice SOLDATI (Age:19; Milan, Italy)
  10. Mr Sam THOMAS (Age: 17 London; United Kingdom).

Both the members of the debate Jury, as well as the industry representatives in the audience were very impressed by this year’s group of young debaters, praising how clearly they identified the problems facing the petrochemical and plastics industries, and also presenting possible solutions. Speaking after the debate, Leonor Garcia, Public Affairs Director of PlasticsEurope stated that “the debaters presented the complex challenges of today and tomorrow from a different angle, and we must learn from this. I was impressed by the youngsters’ innovative and creative ideas that we must capture and translated into actions, wherever possible.”


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