Anyone at AFPM or on any of the AFPM committees with which I work will tell you that I am a proud alumnus of the University of Central Florida (UCF). I attended the 2014 Fiesta Bowl where the UCF Knights upset the Baylor Bears. I wear the colors on game day and am the former Chairman of the DC area UCF Alumni Association.

UCF publishes a monthly alumni magazine called Pegasus. July’s edition had two articles dealing with products made from petrochemicals. The first was a report by the group “UCF Recycles” on a project that they had where students discarded their used plastic water bottles into the campus reflecting pond. The reflecting pond area is very large and it made for a dramatic picture with the entire area overflowing with empty plastic bottles. The article skirted the notion of “plastic is bad” for a more mainstream “recycling is good” message.

The next page had an article about a teenager who was fitted with a prosthetic arm that was designed at UCF. This comes within a year of the heartwarming story about the six year old boy who was fitted with a prosthetic arm designed by engineering students at UCF.

Both stories show the importance of petrochemicals. Plastics, which are made from petrochemicals, have helped us to have the convenience of packing a water bottle in our backpack. But we should recycle that plastic if we are no longer using it. The other story shows that with the right research and ingenuity, petrochemical-based products can be used, in a cost-effective manner, to improve peoples’ lives.

These stories make me proud to be in this industry. They also make me proud to be an alumnus of the University of Central Florida.

Go Knights!

Dan Strachan

Posted by Dan Strachan

Dan Strachan is the Director, Industrial Relations and Programs for AFPM. To learn more about AFPM, visit