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Single Use is Word of the Year 2018 and this is why

11/12/2018 15:09

word of the year 2018

Since David Attenborough’s Blue Planet 2 was aired in December 2017, highlighting the impact of plastic pollution on marine life, there has been a universal movement of people trying to reduce the usage of single-use plastics.

Throughout 2018, reducing plastic waste has been at the forefront of many brand’s CSR strategies and supported by consumers; now, ‘single-use’ has been named 2018’s Word of the Year by Collins Dictionary in November! 

Why is Single-Use Word of the Year? 2018 word of the year

There are approximately 4.5 billion words that are monitored by the staff at Collins, so why was ‘single-use’ chosen as 2018’s WOTY over the other four and a half billion contenders?  

According to the Guardian, the images that were shown during the Blue Plant episode (mentioned above) of chicks being fed plastic sparked a global uproar towards plastic pollution. In consequence, the usage of the term ‘single-use’ has drastically increased throughout the year.

From single-use disposable coffee cups to single-use straws, carrier bags and food packaging, there is now a universal calling to boycott single-use plastic in the bid to save our world’s oceans.

Evidently, single-use plastic has been a hot topic throughout 2018 and many brands are continuing to get involved with the global movement of preventing plastic waste by encouraging their staff and clients to reduce their plastic waste. One of the key ways we found that companies are getting involved is by investing in reusable drinkware and eco-friendly promotional products rather than single-use ones, which also helps to boost the environmental aspect of their corporate social responsibility, thus creating a cleaner and greener image. 

What does this mean? 

word of the year 2018

Public awareness is at an all-time high regarding the impact single-use plastic waste is having on the environment and how plastic particles are extremely difficult, if not impossible to get rid of. As a result, the EU has approved a ban on single-use plastics such as plastic straws, single-use plastic plates, bottles, etc, with the demand that the UK mirrors this post-Brexit. 

Estimated impact on 2019’s merchandise trends…

Like 2018, 2019 will most likely see a further increase in reusable alternatives to disposable plastic products. With marketers striving to meet customer needs and promote their brand through utilizing merchandise, reusable drinkware such as coffee cups, thermal mugs and water bottles will continue to dominate.

However, branded reusable straws will increase in popularity, especially as businesses in the pubs and hospitality industry have agreed that paper straws, even though somewhat more eco-friendly, are not as cost-effective, whereas reusable straws are a one-off cost and can be reused time and time again.


Get in touch with our team of merchandise experts for more information and inspiration about how to improve your brand’s CSR using whilst helping reduce single-use plastic both in and out of the workplace….

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