The need to educate the public more about the benefits of petchem products to the environment came up time and again during the Aromatics Conference, both in speakers' presentations and in questions from the floor.
Answering a question from Piet V, Patrick Thomas said the public's perception of plastics was dominated by the issue of plastic bags littering streets and clogging up the seas, as well as issues like phthalates in baby bottles.
Getting rid of thin disposable bags would be no big deal to the petchem industry, and there was now no production of bisphenol A baby bottles anywhere on the planet, he said.
A number of speakers focussed on the strong environmental credentials of polymers in preventing food wastage, insulating homes and offices, and harnessing renewable energy resources.
(photo: Patrick Thomas, Bayer MaterialScience speaking at Aromatics Conference 2011.)