AFPM ’14: Push coming to better educate public on chemicals

30 March 2014 00:55 Source:ICIS News

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (ICIS)--A more focused effort towards educating the general public about the benefits of petrochemicals is being undertaken by the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), an executive with the association said on Saturday.

While the ongoing shale boom is a catalyst for the education movement, the notion of better informing the public about how important petrochemicals are to everyday life has been something the AFPM has wanted to do for a while, said Jim Cooper, senior petrochemical advisor for the organisation.

He made his comments on the sidelines of the International Petrochemical Conference (IPC).

“A lot of folks don’t understand how industry works, they don’t understand how the manufacturing supply chain actually works, and so it’s going to be our mission over the next couple of years to educate people on how things fit together, where petrochemicals fit within the supply chain, and how this overall picture actually works in the real world,” Cooper said.

The AFPM will be encouraging producers and other stakeholders in the petrochemical industry to engage with the public more in showing how chemicals such as olefins, aromatics and others play vital roles in their lives.

Education “begins with the most fundamental part of education – that is, taking something that is relevant to people and backtracking through the supply chain … This way, folks are going to have that immediate sense of connection as you back them the supply chain and show them where petrochemicals end up, and they are just left with that ‘gee whiz’ effect,” Cooper said.

Hosted by the AFPM, the IPC continues through Tuesday in San Antonio, Texas.

By Jeremy Pafford