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bioplasticsMAGAZINE_1105

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bioplasticsMAGAZINE_1105

Personality Harald Kaeb

Personality Harald Kaeb bM: When and were you born? HK: I was born in October 1963, in a small village in northern Bavaria, very close to the then still existing inner- German border. bM: Where do you live today and how long have you lived there? HK: Since 12 years I’ve lived in the center of Berlin, Germany. bM: What is your educational background? HK: I studied Chemistry at the University of Würzburg and I hold a PhD in Chemistry. bM: What is your professional function today? HK: My main job is being an independent consultant for green chemistry and bioplastics. Furthermore, I am honorary member of the board (treasurer) of European Bioplastics, the industry association. bM: How did you ‘come to’ bioplastics? HK: 20 years ago I was applying for a postdoc study at Californian universities, I wanted to learn surfing. But I got a job offer to work as project manager for green chemistry at C.A.R.M.E.N. They wanted to build a German renewable raw material agency and I became fascinated immediately. I gave up my surf plans and started pioneering bioplastics. Blind and enthusiastic enough to ignore a 12-25 US-$ oil price during that decade. bM: What do you consider more important: ‘biobased’ or ‘biodegradable’? HK: Bio-based is the much bigger concept addressing all aspects of sustainable development. Biodegradable is a useful end-of-life functionality for specific product categories. Both concepts must serve a low-carbon-economy. bM: What has been your biggest achievement (in terms of bioplastics) so far? HK: My contribution to build-up European-Bioplastics as the voice for branch communication and policy affairs. And to initiate and first time organise important branch events like the European Bioplastics conference or the interpack bioplastics showcase. bM: What are your biggest challenges for the future? HK: Personally, it is to balance private and professional life a little bit smarter than in the past. For the bioplastic branch: To invest more in issue management and communication. bM: What is your family status HK: I am a big city single with many good friends - too much of a nerd, maybe. bM: What is your favorite movie? HK: I love ‘Mystery of Picasso’ and documentations about artists like Andy Goldsworthy ‘Rivers and Tide’. They are into their own universe, it’s amazing and it’s real. bM: What is your favorite book? HK: Changes every year, at the time being it’s Houellebecq ‘The map and the territory’. bM: What is your favorite (or your next) vacation location? HK: I love this planet, there’s a billion fantastic spots. More often I am at the seaside. bM: What do you eat for breakfast on a Sunday? German bread, pain au chocolat, homemade marmelade, fruits, cooked ham from Italy, mediterranian spreads, the FAZ (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung) – I celebrate breakfast almost every day. bM: What is your ‘slogan’? HK: Just do it - yes we can! You have to burn yourself if you want to set others on fire. 40 bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/11] Vol. 6

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