2017 was a tough year for the news business.
Two of the three network morning show hosts lost their jobs under a cloud.
"Fake news" became a common term.
CNN started running ads saying that apples are apples, even when someone screams "banana."
At Plastics News, we're not yelling at anyone about fruit (or herbs, if you want to get technical). We're still cruising along, covering the latest pricing, M&A and business news. But once a year, we take a break from serious headlines and take a look at the humorous side of plastics.
So sit back and enjoy our latest Plastic Globe awards. And if you're on the receiving end of a zinger, send us a tweet. We promise not to block you.
MOVIE QUOTE OF THE YEAR AWARD: The indie film "Tomorrow Ever After" has Shaina, a historian from 600 years in the future, experiment with time travel and end up in 2015.
At one point, she exclaims, "I'm touching plastic, and I'm not in a museum!"
So what's everything made of in 2615, wood?
THURSTON HOWELL III AWARD: The website billionaire.com tackled the plastic marine debris issue in 2017, noting that superyacht makers Fraser Yachts, Princess Yachts and Y.CO had all launched initiatives to reduce ocean plastic.
CRUEL AND INHUMAN PUNISHMENT AWARD: To Norway's government, which in January was sued by a convicted murder who claimed his human rights were being violated. One of the complaints: having to eat with plastic utensils.
BETTER THAN GIRL SCOUT COOKIES AWARD: To an employee at Williamsburg Plastics in Williamsburg, Ky., who was charged with trying to sell meth to other employees.
BEST PRO-PLASTICS HEADLINE AWARD: To the Albany, N.Y., Times Union, for this headline on a letter to the editor: "Styrofoam is recyclable, good for the environment."
The letter, which was a response to an earlier letter, "Styrofoam ban a worthy effort," noted that "nothing is more environmentally friendly than expanded polystyrene for to-go containers. … We shouldn't villainize this product that is 100 percent recyclable."
BEST STRAIGHT LINE FOR FRANK ESPOSITO AWARD: Plastics News senior reporter Frank Esposito is known for his sense of humor, so there are almost too many to consider in this category. But Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) wins the prize.
Johnson, before going on stage at the Global Plastics Summit in Chicago, jokingly said that if he said anything stupid, Frank shouldn't write it down.
"I asked him to give me a signal for stupid comments, like touching his nose or something," Frank said.
MISTAKEN IDENTITY AWARD: To the Plastics Hall of Fame, which is developing a very nice new website (www.plasticshof.org) with information about the hall and its members.
But during development of the site, we stumbled across an amusing mistake: A profile of one prominent polymer scientist was illustrated with a photo of a plastics trade magazine journalist!
And that may be the closest that a journalist ever gets to being in the Plastics Hall of Fame!
CLUSTER DUCK AWARD: Canada celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2017, but one of the party favors ruffled some feathers.
The Ontario government spent $200,000 to rent a six-story-tall inflatable yellow plastic duck for Toronto's Redpath Waterfront Festival.
Supporters said the duck would bring selfie-taking visitors to Toronto. But an opposition member of the provincial parliament called it "an absurd waste of taxpayers' dollars," and "an absolute cluster duck."
You have to admire a politician who's been waiting for the opportunity to say "cluster duck" for his entire political career and pounced on the opportunity.
HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY AWARD: To Subhash Dhar, the former CEO of lithium-ion battery maker Exalt, on the tendency of battery makers to overpromise performance: "Battery people have been described as: There are liars, there are damn liars and there are battery people."
HELLO, MY NAME IS .... AWARD: To Elizabeth Griffith, director of engineering for Faurecia's interior systems, who said at an industry conference: "There are more CEOs named Dave than there are CEOs who are women."
NOTABLE EXCEPTION AWARD: To Steve Kiefer, senior vice president of global purchasing and supply chain at General Motors Co.: "We have 20,000 suppliers at General Motors and I can think of at least seven of them named David. But at least I answer to a Mary."
GET ME HOLLYWOOD AWARD: To Leah Curry, president of Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia Inc., on the need to come up with new ways to reach future workers: "If we can just get a TV show about manufacturing, something really good, then they can see themselves doing it. When 'CSI' came out, the number of women that were going into forensics tripled. So if we've got someone out there, thinking about a pilot show, if they can see it on TV, they can believe it."
MISDIRECTED NEWS AWARD: To the PR person for Iron & Metals Inc., a scrap metal recycling company, who suggested we do a story on how that industry deals with extreme weather like hurricanes: "Perhaps to be included in your 'Heavy Metal' blog section?"
GREAT OPPORTUNITY FOR PRACTICAL JOKERS AWARD: To workers at Panolam Surface Systems, formerly known as Pioneer Plastic, in Auburn, Maine.
A worker was opening a shipping crate from China in September when a small, green snake with yellow eyes suddenly popped out and escaped into the plant.
The snake is still on the loose.
CALLING DOCTOR LOVE AWARD: To Mark Chorabik, robot support specialist at Wittmann Battenfeld Inc.
Little did we know that Chorabik is commonly referred to by customers and colleagues as the "Robot Love Doctor."
SHH, IT'S A SECRET AWARD: To Procter & Gamble Co., for finally is talking to us in-depth about its Imflux process for injection molding.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LET'S BUILD A FACTORY AWARD: To Nissei Plastic Industrial Co. Ltd., as the Japanese injection press maker turned 70 this year, and it's U.S. operation turned 40. Nissei is building a U.S. plant in San Antonio, Texas.
I CAN SEE PINEAPPLES AWARD: To Milacron Holdings Corp., which announced the first commercial use of its see-through Klear Can to S&W Foods International, part of Del Monte, to package pineapples.
IGNORE EVERYTHING I JUST SAID AWARD: To General Motors Co., which bragged over the durability of the steel bed in its pickup trucks in a series of commercials that sought to woo F-150 truck owners who didn't like Ford's move to aluminum. Reports say that within a few years, GM will begin using carbon fiber and other lightweight materials in its truck beds rather than steel.
WHERE THE HECK IS IBERIA, OHIO, AWARD: To Yizumi-HPM Corp., which opened a headquarters in this small Ohio town. Where is it? Not far from Mount Gilead, where HPM made machinery for decades.
GOOD LUCK IN RETIREMENT AWARD: To two plastics machinery mavens, Wolfgang Meyer and Dave Bernardi.
BETTER SERVE SPAGHETTI AT THE OPEN HOUSE AWARD: To Negri Bossi North America, part of Italian injection press maker Negri Bossi SpA, which in 2018 will build a new U.S. headquarters in Michigan. The first tenant? Magic MP, the Italian blow molding manufacturer.
Thanks to all the Plastics News reporters and editors who contributed Globe awards this year.