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True to its name, a single-use plastic is disposable plastic that's designed to be used once then tossed or recycled. This includes everything from plastic water drink bottles and produce bags to disposable plastic razors and plastic ribbon: really any plastic item you use then immediately discard. While these items can be recyclable, Megean Weldon of the blog and waste-prevention shop Zero Waste Nerd says that's hardly the norm. "In reality, very few plastic items can be processed into new materials and products," she says in an email. "Unlike glass and aluminum, plastic isn't processed into the same item it was when it was collected by a recycling center. The quality of plastic is downgraded, so eventually, and inevitably, that plastic will still end up in a landfill." Most bottles say they can be recycled, and based solely on their easily recyclable polyethylene terephthalate (PET) composition, they could be. However, nearly seven out of 10 bottles end up in landfills or tossed as litter. This problem increased when China decided to stop accepting and recycling plastic in 2018. For municipalities, that meant recycling became significantly pricier, according to The Atlantic, so many municipalities are now simply opting for the budget-friendly landfill over recycling. Pair this landfill-first approach with the world's ever-growing plastic consumption — humans produce almost 20,000 plastic bottles per second, according to The Guardian and America's waste grew by 4.5 percent from 2010 to 2015 — it's no wonder the world is overflowing with plastic waste.