Collins Dictionary has chosen “single-use” as its 2018 word of the year. And it’s not really a surprise considering more and more companies and groups have made—and continue to make—commitments to ban single-use plastic straws and other products that end up in oceans and landfills.
Single-use refers to products, most commonly made from plastic, that are manufactured to be used one time and then thrown away. Think plastic straws, plastic baggies, cutlery, packaging and those pesky plastic shopping bags that cause headaches at materials recovery facilities (MRFs) and contaminate the recycling stream.
The Guardian has more details:
Single-use, a term referring to products – often made of plastic –that are made to be used once and thrown away, has been named Collins Dictionary’s word of the year for 2018.
Collins, whose lexicographers monitor a 4.5bn-word corpus to come up with an annual list of new and notable words, said images such as those seen in the BBC’s Blue Planet II, in which albatrosses unwittingly feed their chicks plastic, had contributed to the increased usage of the term single-use. It also pointed to increased public awareness of the problems that single-use products bring. The European parliament recently backed a ban on single-use plastics such as straws, cotton swabs, disposable plates and bottles and cutlery; it is expected to come into effect in 2021. The UK is also planning to introduce a tax on plastic packaging.