Individuals and responsibility
The perception of industry
Pollution conversation that specifically mentions industry is increasing. (We found 156,000 mentions – quite small compared to the close to 6 million mentions of the original conversation, but the volume has risen over the time frame we studied).
When we examine those social mentions further, breaking them down by emotion, we’re able to understand the complex issue of responsibility a little more.
We found that early mentions of industry were more likely to be categorized with the emotion ‘disgust’, while as the conversation has gone on there is less blame and vitriol towards industry online. Instead, people are discussing the measures industries are putting in place to cut their plastic consumption.
Within social conversations, the industries that rose to the forefront were fishing and fashion. Meanwhile, people were keen to discuss the tourism industry and how areas that depend on tourism are being hurt due to plastic waste.
Consumers are taking responsibility
The single day that recorded the most mentions of plastic pollution in our study was February 28, 2018. This one day had more than 108,000 mentions, and they were all sparked by a single Tweet that resonated with a large audience. The author wasn’t a celebrity, just someone with a message and a warning.