Plastic Bag Undergraduate Research Project: Introduction

It is 2012, a year for new resolutions and new undergraduate research projects! I am finally done my undergraduate research project on the plastic bag ban on Twitter. Using TwapperKeeper, I collected tweets from three separate days throughout summer 2011. After creating categories and cataloging tweets in terms of how they relate to the plastic bag ban (for the ban, against the ban, bag tax, etc.), I counted them and created three graphs outlining my findings. In all three cases, the irrelevant tweets outweighed the tweets with bag ban information, but the information in the usable tweets was promising!

In this graph of June 30th, you can see that even though there were 308 irrelevant tweets (about a half), almost a quarter of the tweets were solely facts about the ban. On this particular ban, fact about bans around the world were the most popular tweets. Stories were featured from Canberra Australia, Italy, Ireland, Los Angeles County, the Outer Banks, New York City, Mumbai India, and other cities throughout the US. A tweet from @EarthActivists caused a massive retweeting of a prompt to recycle plastic bags as well as cease using them all together. Another strong retweeted tweet was that from Puma, explaining how Puma made 100% biodegradable bags that can be composted in water or in compost, made with eco-friendly dye.

Because of the news around the world in June about plastic bag bans and taxes, the twitterverse responded with retweets and links galore! Check back soon to see the analysis of July and August in my project!

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