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Disposable

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Encyclopedia
A disposable is a product designed for cheapness and short-term convenience rather than medium to long-term durability, with most products only intended for single use. The term is also sometimes used for products that may last several months (ex. disposable air filter
Air filter
A particulate air filter is a device composed of fibrous materials which removes solid particulates such as dust, pollen, mold, and bacteria from the air. A chemical air filter consists of an absorbent or catalyst for the removal of airborne molecular contaminants such as volatile organic compounds...

s) to distinguish from similar products that last indefinitely (ex. washable air filters).

Materials and costs


Disposables are most often made from paper
Paper
Paper is a thin material mainly used for writing upon, printing upon, drawing or for packaging. It is produced by pressing together moist fibers, typically cellulose pulp derived from wood, rags or grasses, and drying them into flexible sheets....

, plastic
Plastic
A plastic material is any of a wide range of synthetic or semi-synthetic organic solids used in the manufacture of industrial products. Plastics are typically polymers of high molecular mass, and may contain other substances to improve performance and/or reduce production costs...

, cotton
Cotton
Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective capsule, around the seeds of cotton plants of the genus Gossypium. The fiber is almost pure cellulose. The botanical purpose of cotton fiber is to aid in seed dispersal....

, or polystyrene
Polystyrene
Polystyrene ) also known as Thermocole, abbreviated following ISO Standard PS, is an aromatic polymer made from the monomer styrene, a liquid hydrocarbon that is manufactured from petroleum by the chemical industry...

 foam.

Kitchen & dining products

  • Disposable dishware / drinkware (ex. plates
    Plate (dishware)
    A plate is a broad, concave, but mainly flat vessel on which food can be served. A plate can also be used for ceremonial or decorative purposes.-Materials:...

    , bowls
    Bowls
    Bowls is a sport in which the objective is to roll slightly asymmetric balls so that they stop close to a smaller "jack" or "kitty". It is played on a pitch which may be flat or convex or uneven...

    , cups
    Paper cup
    A paper cup is a cup made out of paper and often lined with plastic or wax to prevent liquid from leaking out or soaking through the paper. It may be made of recycled paper and is widely used around the world.-History:...

    )
  • Plastic cutlery (ex. spoon
    Spoon
    A spoon is a utensil consisting of a small shallow bowl, oval or round, at the end of a handle. A type of cutlery , especially as part of a place setting, it is used primarily for serving. Spoons are also used in food preparation to measure, mix, stir and toss ingredients...

    s, knives
    Knife
    A knife is a cutting tool with an exposed cutting edge or blade, hand-held or otherwise, with or without a handle. Knives were used at least two-and-a-half million years ago, as evidenced by the Oldowan tools...

    , fork
    Fork
    As a piece of cutlery or kitchenware, a fork is a tool consisting of a handle with several narrow tines on one end. The fork, as an eating utensil, has been a feature primarily of the West, whereas in East Asia chopsticks have been more prevalent...

    s, spork
    Spork
    A spork or a foon is a hybrid form of cutlery taking the form of a spoon-like shallow scoop with three or four fork tines. Spork-like utensils, such as the terrapin fork or ice cream fork, have been manufactured since the late 19th century; patents for spork-like designs date back to at least 1874,...

    s)
  • Disposable table cloth
  • Cans
    Tin can
    A tin can, tin , steel can, or a can, is a sealed container for the distribution or storage of goods, composed of thin metal. Many cans require opening by cutting the "end" open; others have removable covers. Cans hold diverse contents: foods, beverages, oil, chemicals, etc."Tin" cans are made...

    , bottle
    Bottle
    A bottle is a rigid container with a neck that is narrower than the body and a "mouth". By contrast, a jar has a relatively large mouth or opening. Bottles are often made of glass, clay, plastic, aluminum or other impervious materials, and typically used to store liquids such as water, milk, soft...

    s, jar
    Jar
    A jar is a rigid, approximately cylindrical container with a wide mouth or opening. Jars are typically made of glass, ceramic, or plastic. They are used for foods, cosmetics, medications, and chemicals that are relatively thick or viscous...

    s, carton
    Carton
    Carton is the name of certain types of containers typically made from paperboard which is also sometimes known as cardboard. Many types of cartons are used in packaging. Sometimes a carton is also called a box.-Folding cartons:...

    s, wrapper
    Wrapper
    Wrapper generally refers to a type of packaging, such as a flat sheet made out of paper, cellophane or plastic to enclose an object.Wrapper may also refer to:* Wrapper , a woman's garment which is worn over nightwear or lingerie...

    s and other food packaging
    Food packaging
    Food packaging is packaging for food. It requires protection, tampering resistance, and special physical, chemical, or biological needs. It also shows the product that is labeled to show any nutrition information on the food being consumed....

     are largely recyclable, and some are even compostable
  • Inexpensive tupperware
    Tupperware
    Tupperware is the name of a home products line that includes preparation, storage, containment, and serving products for the kitchen and home, which were first introduced to the public in 1946....

     products are recyclable
  • Cupcake
    Cupcake
    A cupcake is a small cake designed to serve one person, frequently baked in a small, thin paper or aluminum cup...

     wrappers, coffee filter
    Coffee filter
    A coffee filter is a coffee-brewing utensil, usually made of disposable paper. A stainless steel filter is used to prepare Indian filter coffee, the form of coffee common in India....

    s are compostable

Medical & hygiene products

  • Toilet paper
    Toilet paper
    Toilet paper is a soft paper product used to maintain personal hygiene after human defecation or urination. However, it can also be used for other purposes such as blowing one's nose when one has a cold or absorbing common spills around the house, although paper towels are more used for the latter...

  • Condom
    Condom
    A condom is a barrier device most commonly used during sexual intercourse to reduce the probability of pregnancy and spreading sexually transmitted diseases . It is put on a man's erect penis and physically blocks ejaculated semen from entering the body of a sexual partner...

    s and other contraception
    Contraception
    Contraception is the prevention of the fusion of gametes during or after sexual activity. The term contraception is a contraction of contra, which means against, and the word conception, meaning fertilization...

     products
  • Disposable enema
    Enema
    An enema is the procedure of introducing liquids into the rectum and colon via the anus. The increasing volume of the liquid causes rapid expansion of the lower intestinal tract, often resulting in very uncomfortable bloating, cramping, powerful peristalsis, a feeling of extreme urgency and...

    s and similar products
  • Cotton swab
    Cotton swab
    Cotton swabs or cotton buds or ear buds consist of a small wad of cotton wrapped around one or both ends of a short rod, usually made of either wood, rolled paper, or plastic...

    s and pads
  • Medical
    Medical gloves
    Medical gloves are disposable gloves used during medical examinations and procedures that help prevent contamination between caregivers and patients. Medical gloves are made of different polymers including latex, nitrile rubber, vinyl and neoprene; they come unpowdered, or powdered with cornstarch...

     and cleaning
    Rubber glove
    A rubber glove is a glove made out of rubber. Rubber gloves can be unsupported or supported . Its primary purpose is protection of the hands while performing tasks involving chemicals. Rubber gloves are worn during dishwashing to protect the hands from detergent and allow the use of hotter water...

     glove
    Glove
    A glove is a garment covering the hand. Gloves have separate sheaths or openings for each finger and the thumb; if there is an opening but no covering sheath for each finger they are called "fingerless gloves". Fingerless gloves with one large opening rather than individual openings for each...

    s
  • Baby and adult diaper
    Diaper
    A nappy or a diaper is a kind of pant that allows one to defecate or urinate on oneself discreetly. When diapers become soiled, they require changing; this process is often performed by a second person such as a parent or caregiver...

    s, and training pants
  • Shaving
    Shaving
    Shaving is the removal of hair, by using a razor or any other kind of bladed implement, to slice it down to the level of the skin. Shaving is most commonly practiced by men to remove their facial hair and by women to remove their leg and underarm hair...

     razor
    Razor
    A razor is a bladed tool primarily used in the removal of unwanted body hair through the act of shaving. Kinds of razors include straight razors, disposable razors and electric razors....

    s, waxing
    Waxing
    Waxing is a method of semi-permanent hair removal which removes the hair from the root. New hair will not grow back in the previously waxed area for two to eight weeks, although some people will start to see regrowth in only a week. Almost any area of the body can be waxed, including eyebrows,...

     kits, comb
    Comb
    A comb is a toothed device used in hair care for straightening and cleaning hair or other fibres. Combs are among the oldest tools found by archaeologists...

    s, and other hair control products
  • Toothbrush
    Toothbrush
    The toothbrush is an oral hygiene instrument used to clean the teeth and gums that consists of a head of tightly clustered bristles mounted on a handle, which facilitates the cleansing of hard-to-reach areas of the mouth. Toothpaste, which often contains fluoride, is commonly used in conjunction...

    es, dental floss
    Dental floss
    Dental floss is made of either a bundle of thin nylon filaments or a plastic ribbon used to remove food and dental plaque from teeth. The floss is gently inserted between the teeth and scraped along the teeth sides, especially close to the gums. Dental floss may be flavored or unflavored, and...

    , and other oral care products
  • Hospital apron
    Apron
    An apron is an outer protective garment that covers primarily the front of the body. It may be worn for hygienic reasons as well as in order to protect clothes from wear and tear. The apron is commonly part of the uniform of several work categories, including waitresses, nurses, and domestic...

    s
  • Disposable panties in postpartum
  • Contact lenses

Electronics

  • Non-rechargeable batteries
    Battery (electricity)
    An electrical battery is one or more electrochemical cells that convert stored chemical energy into electrical energy. Since the invention of the first battery in 1800 by Alessandro Volta and especially since the technically improved Daniell cell in 1836, batteries have become a common power...

     are considered hazardous waste
    Hazardous waste
    A hazardous waste is waste that poses substantial or potential threats to public health or the environment. According to the U.S. environmental laws hazardous wastes fall into two major categories: characteristic wastes and listed wastes.Characteristic hazardous wastes are materials that are known...

     and should only be disposed of as such.
  • Disposable ink cartridges

Defense and law enforcement

  • Ammunition
    Ammunition
    Ammunition is a generic term derived from the French language la munition which embraced all material used for war , but which in time came to refer specifically to gunpowder and artillery. The collective term for all types of ammunition is munitions...

     ; but shell casings are recyclable
  • PlastiCuffs
    PlastiCuffs
    Plastic handcuffs are a form of physical restraint for the hands, using plastic straps. They function as handcuffs but are cheaper and easier to carry than metal handcuffs, and cannot be reused....


Other consumer products

  • Paper shopping bags can be reuse
    Reuse
    To reuse is to use an item more than once. This includes conventional reuse where the item is used again for the same function, and new-life reuse where it is used for a different function. In contrast, recycling is the breaking down of the used item into raw materials which are used to make new...

    d and are recyclable
  • Plastic shopping bags can be reuse
    Reuse
    To reuse is to use an item more than once. This includes conventional reuse where the item is used again for the same function, and new-life reuse where it is used for a different function. In contrast, recycling is the breaking down of the used item into raw materials which are used to make new...

    d and are also recyclable at many grocery store
    Grocery store
    A grocery store is a store that retails food. A grocer, the owner of a grocery store, stocks different kinds of foods from assorted places and cultures, and sells these "groceries" to customers. Large grocery stores that stock products other than food, such as clothing or household items, are...

    s
  • Vacuum cleaner
    Vacuum cleaner
    A vacuum cleaner, commonly referred to as a "vacuum," is a device that uses an air pump to create a partial vacuum to suck up dust and dirt, usually from floors, and optionally from other surfaces as well. The dirt is collected by either a dustbag or a cyclone for later disposal...

     bags, water
    Filter (water)
    A water filter removes impurities from water by means of a fine physical barrier, a chemical process or a biological process. Filters cleanse water to various extents for irrigation, drinking water, aquariums, and swimming pools.-Methods of filtration:...

    , air
    Air filter
    A particulate air filter is a device composed of fibrous materials which removes solid particulates such as dust, pollen, mold, and bacteria from the air. A chemical air filter consists of an absorbent or catalyst for the removal of airborne molecular contaminants such as volatile organic compounds...

    , coolant
    Filter (oil)
    An oil filter is a filter designed to remove contaminants from engine oil, transmission oil, lubricating oil, or hydraulic oil. Oil filters are used in many different types of hydraulic machinery. A chief use of the oil filter is in internal-combustion engines in on- and off-road motor vehicles,...

    , and other filters
  • Paper currency (worn out banknotes are removed from circulation by the Federal Reserve)
  • Ballpoint pen
    Ballpoint pen
    A ballpoint pen is a writing instrument with an internal ink reservoir and a sphere for a point. The internal chamber is filled with a viscous ink that is dispensed at its tip during use by the rolling action of a small sphere...

    s, erasers, and other writing implement
    Writing implement
    A writing implement or writing instrument is an object used to produce writing. Most of these items can be also used for other functions such as painting, drawing and technical drawing, but writing instruments generally have the unique requirement to create a smooth, controllable line.Another...

    s
  • Aseptic milk
    Milk
    Milk is a white liquid produced by the mammary glands of mammals. It is the primary source of nutrition for young mammals before they are able to digest other types of food. Early-lactation milk contains colostrum, which carries the mother's antibodies to the baby and can reduce the risk of many...

     and soy milk
    Soy milk
    Soy milk and sometimes referred to as soy drink/beverage is a beverage made from soybeans. A stable emulsion of oil, water, and protein, it is produced by soaking dry soybeans and grinding them with water...

     containers

Environmental impact


The use of disposable products had led to a marked increase in trash. Overconsumption, Movements such as Landfill diversion
Landfill diversion
Waste diversion or landfill diversion is the process of diverting waste from landfill. The success of landfill diversion can be measured by comparison of the size of the landfill from one year to the next. If the landfill grows minimally or remains the same, then policies covering landfill...

 exist which seek to combat disposable item overuse, and the resulting trash.

See also



  • Consumable
  • Extended producer responsibility
    Extended producer responsibility
    Extended producer responsibility is a strategy designed to promote the integration of environmental costs associated with goods throughout their life cycles into the market price of the products.- Definition :...

  • Planned obsolescence
    Planned obsolescence
    Planned obsolescence or built-in obsolescence in industrial design is a policy of deliberately planning or designing a product with a limited useful life, so it will become obsolete or nonfunctional after a certain period of time...

  • Waste management
    Waste management
    Waste management is the collection, transport, processing or disposal,managing and monitoring of waste materials. The term usually relates to materials produced by human activity, and the process is generally undertaken to reduce their effect on health, the environment or aesthetics...

  • Société Bic
    Société Bic
    Société Bic is a company based in Clichy, France, founded in 1945, by Baron Marcel Bich known for making disposable products including lighters, magnets, ballpoint pens, shaving razors and watersports products. It competes in most markets against Faber-Castell, Global Gillette, Newell Rubbermaid...