‘Single-use’ has been announced as the Collins Dictionary 2018 Word of the Year

By Adam Rear

‘Single-use’ was named Word of the Year by dictionary publishers Collins after beating close-contenders VAR (Video Assistant Referee), floss (a dance move from the popular video game Fortnite) and plogging (jogging while picking up litter). 

Image result for plastic in ocean

Plastic waste litters an otherwise beautiful beach in a wildlife refuge in Hawaii.

The full shortlist of Collins 2018 Word of the Year also included gaslight, backstop, gammon, MeToo, vegan and whitewash.

Single-use refers to products, often plastic, which are made to only be used once before they need to disposed of.

The word has seen a four-fold increase in usage since 2013, likely down to the shocking images seen in documentaries, such as the BBC’s Blue Planet series of plastic litter destroying wildlife and their habitats.

A worldwide campaign to decrease the plastic usage has seen a steep rise in public awareness, hence the popularity of ‘single-use’ throughout 2018.

Some organisations in the UK have implemented plans and schemes to help cut down on the single-use waste that we see every day.

De Montfort University tackled this issue of single-use plastics cups earlier this year by giving away reusable metal flasks to students, which has greatly reduced the waste caused by disposable cups in the Leicester area.

Popular chain Costa offers a 25p discount on take-away drinks if customers bring a reusable cup and the Wetherspoons group now serves biodegradable paper straws instead of damaging, single-use plastic straws.

Daisy Rawson, 20, third year DMU fashion student, said: “I think single-use is an interesting choice because of how often pollution and waste is in the news.

“I can see why it won. It is also interesting to see words like MeToo and whitewash in the shortlist, it shows that many political terms nowadays are used so frequently.

“I think the fact these phrases are mentioned so much in the news shows why they are seen as words of the year.”

Luke Pawley, 20, first year journalism student, added: “Although single-use has been an important word this year, with the increased coverage on world waste, I think other terms should deserve the Word of the Year award.

“I thought a more political word should have been given the award, such as Brexit or fake news, due to how important they have become.”






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