Collins Dictionary has named ‘single-use’ as its Word of the Year after a four-fold increase in its usage in the last five years.
Single-use beat rivals Floss, VAR, Gammon and ‘Plogging’ - picking up litter whilst jogging - to the 2018 title. Last year’s winner was Fake News.
“Single-use encompasses a global movement to kick our addiction to disposable products. From plastic bags, bottles and straws to washable nappies, we have become more conscious of how our habits and behaviours can impact the environment”, Collins said in a statement.
A huge number of businesses, from consumer-facing companies to packaging manufacturers, have announced plans in the last year to move away from using unrecyclable, difficult-to-recycle or unrecycled plastic in their products.
The government is also taking action. Following on from a ban on plastic microbeads and the plastic bag levy, the government recently set out a plan to ban the distribution and sale of other single-use plastics such as plastic straws and cotton buds by October 2020. The EU is expected to follow with a similar ban by 2021.
A new tax on the manufacture and import of plastic packaging which contains less than 30 per cent recycled material was also announced in the 2018 Autumn Budget, with more policies to reform the use of plastics in products and packaging expected to be announced by the end of the year.