Name a big story happening in the world in the past few months and you can find some connection between it and the plastics industry. Sometimes there are direct connections, like the ongoing supply chain shortages. (Check out this week's Material Insights video for Howard Rappaport's take on that.)
But beyond that, there's the response to the Ukrainian invasion, finding jobs for Afghan refugees and even echoes of trends seen in the "Great Resignation" at the Plastics Industry Association.
Let's start with Ukraine.
Bottle recyclers in Oregon can now drop off their containers to aid Ukrainians.
Bottle Drop, the state's redemption center, is using $25,000 from its emergency fund to match donations from individuals and groups to support Portland-based nonprofit Mercy Corps and its work to "help people in Ukraine, Poland and Romania who have been displaced by the conflict in Ukraine."
Until April 10, Bottle Drop is encouraging its account users to donate the value of their refunds to Mercy Corps to match the $25,000 from the fund. Individuals can also take bottles and cans to Bottle Drop locations and inform workers there that the money should go to Mercy Corps.
"Oregonians routinely put their bottles and cans to great use supporting nonprofits and community organizations," Eric Chambers, director of external relations at the Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative, said in a news release. "Now we have a chance to use our Bottle Drop and redeemable containers to help our distant neighbors in Ukraine during this horrible crisis."