Single-use plastics, also known as disposable plastics, are used only once before they are thrown away or recycled. These items include plastic bags, straws, coffee stirrers, soda and water bottles, and most food packaging. They are a major contributor to plastic pollution due to their high usage and often inadequate disposal and recycling practices. This metric is significant because it offers a measure of the scale and impact of single-use plastic waste on the environment. It is a critical indicator for governments, organizations, and individuals striving to understand and mitigate plastic pollution.