154253 - Windows of opportunity - Published article.pdf (1.07 MB)
'Windows of opportunity': exploring the relationship between social media and plastic policies during the COVID-19 Pandemic
journal contributionposted on 2023-05-21, 14:54 authored by Joanna VinceJoanna Vince, Praet, E, Schofield, J, Townsend, K
Plastic pollution has reached a crisis point due to ineffective waste management, an over-reliance on single-use plastic items and a lack of suitable plastic alternatives. The COVID-19 Pandemic has seen a dramatic increase in the use of single-use plastics including ‘COVID waste’ in the form of items specifically intended to help stop the spread of disease. Many governments have utilised COVID-19 as a window of opportunity to reverse, postpone or remove plastic policies off agendas ostensibly in order to ‘flatten the curve’ of COVID-19 cases. In this paper, we use novel methods of social media analysis relating to three regions (USA, Mexico and Australia) to suggest that health and hygiene were not the only reasons governments utilised this window of opportunity to change plastic policies. Beyond the influence of social media on the plastics agenda, our results highlight the potential of social media as a tool to analyse public reactions to government decisions that can be influenced by industry pressure and a broader political agenda, while not necessarily following responses to consumer behaviour.
Publication titlePolicy Sciences
Department/SchoolSchool of Social Sciences
PublisherKluwer Academic Publ
Place of publicationVan Godewijckstraat 30, Dordrecht, Netherlands, 3311 Gz
Rights statement© The Author(s) 2022. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).