When the first issue of Plastics News came out on March 6, 1989, the No. 1 song in the U.S. was “Lost in Your Eyes,” a pop ballad by 18-year-old Debbie Gibson.
OK, it's clearly not the Beatles or the Rolling Stones — or even Michael Jackson — but some song has to be No. 1 every week, and that just happened to be the one on that day.
But did that song — and other No. 1 songs from that year — actually have deeper meanings? Did they in fact have the power to predict the future of the plastics industry?
Let's re-write that as Internet clickbait: EIGHT WAYS THE HITS OF ‘89 SAW THE FUTURE OF PLASTICS.
1. “Lost in Your Eyes” anticipated the increased use of polycarbonate in eyeglass lenses vs. conventional glass. PC was lighter and shatter-proof and quickly gained acceptance. Gibson herself didn't wear glasses. But she did wear a stylish trademark hat.
2. The shale gas boom clearly has benefited plastics in the last few years, leading to plans for more resin capacity throughout North America, something that some market watchers thought would never happen again. Well, in ‘89, the Bangles topped the charts with “Eternal Flame” and Billy Joel did the same with his history-laden classic “We Didn't Start the Fire.”
Coincidence? Or did the Piano Man have the ability to see the shale-gas future? I mean, this was a short, rumpled guy who married supermodel Christie Brinkley. After that, would seeing the future of plastics be all that hard?