Plexiglass Is Having a Moment

As we redesign a new world partitioned by plexiglass, the industry experiences whiplash

Photo: zoranm/E+/Getty Images

“Our production is running in four shifts around the clock.”

All of this new demand for transparent shields means that the humdrum plexiglass business has suddenly become a hot industry. “We’re up over 200% [in sales] from this time last year,” says Russ Miller, manager of TAP Plastics, a plexiglass retailer in San Leandro, California, which was founded in 1963 and has 19 stores across the West Coast. Miller says he hasn’t “seen anything even close to this” in his 40 years of working for TAP.

“I won’t lie. The days are long, the pressure is on, and stress is real.”

Yet plastic distributors are struggling to get their hands on plexiglass sheets that they in turn supply to local businesses. Miller from plexiglass retailer TAP (which is not supplied by either Plexiglas or Perspex) says his company will run out of the most popular quarter-inch-thick sheets in a week, and there will be a six-week delay until his next batch arrives. (In the meantime, however, he has “thousands and thousands” of sheets of other thickness.)

Photo: Stone/Getty Images

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