Social media has the plastics industry on its toes. I'm not talking about Facebook posts with funny photos from the company golf outing. I'm talking about the surge in social media posts calling on people to stop using single-use plastic products.
Don't believe me? Go to Twitter and do a search on "plastic straws." You'll get hundreds (if not thousands) of recent results, including many with hashtags like #StopSingleUse, #EndOceanPlastics, #RefuseTheStraw and #StrawsAreForSuckers.
A year ago, plastic straws were barely part of debates about single-use plastics and ocean pollution. Today, it's a movement that's growing every day. And that's just straws. You'll find the same results if you search on plastic bags, polystyrene cups, plastic water bottles or balloons.
Most plastics processors don't make straws or single-use grocery bags or polystyrene foam takeout containers. So you may think this social media phenomenon doesn't impact you. But if you look at the big picture, you'll realize that it does. To understand why, let's take a look at a few stories from last week.