Politicians know they've arrived when "Saturday Night Live" makes fun of them. For plastics, I think the equivalent is making The Onion.
Plastics somehow managed to make the big-time news cycle this week, in off-beat stories about a researchers discovering that a certain kind of caterpillar may be able to eat and digest polyethylene.
At least a half dozen people shared stories with me about Galleria mellonella, and Michael Lauzon wrote a terrific story for Plastics News on the topic, Researchers study if caterpillar holds key to plastic litter.
But I always get a kick out of when The Onion decides to lampoon something plastics related. Today they did with one of their "American Voices" items.
"Scientists have discovered that wax moth larvae are capable of digesting polyethylene, an ingredient in many plastics, offering a potential solution to the world's plastic waste problem," they ask. "What do you think?"
As usual, the answers and pretend occupations of the "voices" are great. A "freelance oceanographer" says "See, I knew nature would find a way to clean up our mess." A lawn care promoter says "It's about time we replaced disgusting landfills with acres of beautiful, garbage-covered bug farms."
Best of all, a "luthier's apprentice" says "If you feed enough animals plastic, you're bound to get lucky sooner or later."
As Buck Henry knows, plastics can be funny. We do too, that's why we've been doing the tongue-in-cheek "Plastic Globe" awards since 1989. So I love it when The Onion gives the industry some attention.
Remember when they redesigned the whole Onion website in 2009, pretending it had been sold to a Chinese injection molder, Yu Wan Mei Amalgamated Salvage Fisheries and Polymer Injection Corp.?