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Anton de Vries chats with students about plastics, chemistry and climate protection


The FuturEnergia monthly chat sessions were launched by Mr Anton de Vries, PlasticsEurope Vice-President and President of Polymers Division LyondellBasell Industries, on 27 November 2008. Students from all over Europe participated in an online debate that focused on plastics, chemistry and climate protection.

During the online dialogue, Mr de Vries explained to students how the chemistry behind plastics gives them unique properties that can help protect the climate. When students from Finland asked “How can plastics make a car more energy-efficient?” he replied “Plastics make the car lighter and it will therefore consume less fuel and also emit less CO2”. This is a perfect example of how materials influence the climate due to their special attributes.

When questioned about plastics waste such as plastic bags, Mr de Vries stated that the chemical properties of plastics give many options. Plastic bags can be recycled, but they also have an energy content that could light a lightbulb for ten minutes. He also added that countries put systems in place where waste can be collected and processed in an appropriate way, so we can continue making use of this valuable material.

Mr de Vries also had the opportunity to answer some personal questions such as his favourite school subject as a student in his school years. He liked sports and, in this context, he urged students to enjoy sports to benefit from a healthy life style.
 
At the end of the chat Mr de Vries thanked for the session and mentioned that he has been impressed by the quality of the questions which were the result of a good preparation of the chat subject.

The second chat is hosted by Thomas Schmidt, a former Olympics Champion at slalom canoe, who will answer questions on plastics as performance materials.

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