‘Single-use’, a term that describes items whose unchecked proliferation are blamed for damaging the environment and affecting the food chain, has been named Collins’ Word of the Year 2018.
Single-use refers to products – often plastic – that are ‘made to be used once only’ before disposal. Images of plastic adrift in the most distant oceans, such as straws, bottles, and bags have led to a global campaign to reduce their use.
The word has seen a four-fold increase since 2013, with news stories and images such as those seen in the BBC’s Blue Planet II steeply raising public awareness of the issue.
We delve into the etymology behind ‘single-use’ and our shortlisted words and their prominence in news, politics, business and society.Read more
Collins does not judge. It merely investigates and records. Until it does judge, and names one of them Word of the Year, obviously. We explore this year's shortlist.Read more