When I talk to people in the plastics about the industry's reputation, many say that more needs to be done to inform and educate the public — especially children — about the benefits that plastics can offer.
Typically someone suggests taking a science-based approach to issues.
Well, that's exactly what the PlastiVan program does. And it's been doing it for years, and it's surprising that some people in the industry still aren't aware.
One industry executive who's sold on the program is Nick Sotos, president of iD Additives Inc., a La Grange, Ill.-based supplier of purging compounds, chemical foaming agents and UV stabilizers. He sponsored a PlastiVan visit to Lyons Township High School on May 15-16 — the same school that his daughters attended.
Sotos learned about PlastiVan from the Society of Plastics Engineers.
“I am on the board of the SPE Chicago and when I learned about the PlastiVan program and what it entails, I thought it would be a great way to do something for Lyon Township High School. I live in LaGrange and iD Additives supports a number of programs in town, including Challenger baseball for special needs kids. I feel very strongly about giving back to our community.”
Sotos watched PlastiVan first-hand, seeing how the program explains to students and teachers how polymers are made and processed into finished goods, as well as the value of plastics in society.
“I think we will be doing the PlastiVan program on a yearly basis for iD Additives working with the schools of our employees children, as well as offering to customers to send to their kids' schools. The plastics industry has been great to me personally, and I want others to know what it has to offer,” Sotos said.
He collected some comments from teachers about the program. “Students did learn about industries that that they did not know existed previously and they came away with a refreshed understanding of polymers, plastics and their importance in the world,” one said.