Twitter is garbage: A Thick Big Data exploration of #zerowaste hashtag on Twitter in relation to packaging and food packaging materials

Ganczewski, Grzegorz Jemielniak, Dariusz

Kozminski University

6.97 MB



Zero Waste (ZW) is a relatively new concept of waste reduction, which encourages life cycle thinking in the design of new products and services. Today ZW is becom­ing a lifestyle trend and social media amplifies this trend and helps to propagate the movement. The popularisation of the ZW concept through social media can be attributed to Bea Johnson, author of a bestselling book on ZW living. Many tips on how to achieve ZW living in Bea Johnson's book refer to food packaging and packaging materials, and literature shows that global consumers are increasingly concerned about the negative environmental impacts of packaging waste. Given the popularity of ZW lifestyle in social media, this study explores the ZW trend as reported by users of the popular social media platform Twitter through the lens of Bea Johnson's ZW living model, taking into consideration the public concern on packaging and packaging materials. For the purposes of this paper, Twitter dis­course on ZW is used to draw conclusions on the popular understanding of its impact and effects. This paper uses Thick Big Data study of the collected 124,077 tweets with #zerowaste hashtag. In the study, it was found that majority of popu­lar tweets with #zerowaste hashtag refer to packaging and food packaging. The majority of tweets focused on plastics, and the sentiment of this packaging mate­rial was negative. Other packaging materials found in #zerowaste hashtag tweets include paper, glass and metal, and the sentiment for those materials is gradually more positive.


Issue date 2022 
Type Article 
Language en
Pagination 1-10