Single-use plastics, often also referred to as disposable plastics, are commonly used for plastic packaging7 and include items intended to be used only once before they are thrown away or recycled. These include, among other items, grocery bags, food packaging, bottles, straws, containers, cups and cutlery. Figure 1.1 introduces the main polymers used to manufacture singleuse plastic items and indicates their most common applications.
We produce roughly 300 million tons of plastic each year and half of it is disposable! World-wide only 10-13% of plastic items are recycled. The nature of petroleum based disposable plastic makes it difficult to recycle and they have to add new virgin materials and chemicals to it to do so. Additionally there are a limited number of items that recycled plastic can be used.