A disposable (also called disposable product) 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 filters) to distinguish from similar products that last indefinitely (ex. washable air filters).


Materials and costs

Disposables are most often made from paper, plastic, cotton, or polystyrene foam.

Examples of disposables

Kitchen & dining products

Medical & hygiene products


  • Non-rechargeable batteries are considered hazardous waste and should only be disposed of as such.
  • Disposable ink cartridges

Defense and law enforcement

Other consumer products

Environmental Concerns

  • The use of disposable products had led to a marked increase in trash. Overconsumption, Movements such as Landfill diversion exist which seek to combat disposable item overuse, and the resulting trash.


See also

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • disposable — dis‧pos‧a‧ble [dɪˈspəʊzəbl ǁ ˈspoʊ ] adjective 1. intended to be used once or for a short time and then thrown away: • disposable coffee cups 2. available to be used: • disposable resources * * * Ⅰ. disposable UK US /dɪˈspəʊzəbl/ adjective …   Financial and business terms

  • Disposable — Dis*pos a*ble, a. [From {Dispose}.] Subject to disposal; free to be used or employed as occasion may require; not assigned to any service or use. [1913 Webster] The great of this kingdom . . . has easily afforded a disposable surplus. Burke.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • disposable — I adjective adaptable, advantageous, available, consumable, dispensable, employable, expendable, exploitable, fit for use, free for use, helpful, movable, of service, of use, on call, open to, pervious, procurable, reachable, ready for use,… …   Law dictionary

  • disposable — 1640s, that may be done without; see DISPOSE (Cf. dispose) + ABLE (Cf. able). Meaning designed to be discarded after one use is from 1943, originally of diapers, soon of everything; replaced throw away (1928) in this sense. First recorded use of… …   Etymology dictionary

  • disposable — ► ADJECTIVE 1) (of an article) intended to be used once and then thrown away. 2) (of financial assets) readily available for the owner s use as required. ► NOUN ▪ a disposable article. DERIVATIVES disposability noun …   English terms dictionary

  • disposable — [di spō′zə bəl] adj. 1. that can be or is intended to be thrown away after use [disposable bottles] 2. that can be disposed of 3. available to use without restriction n. something that can be or is intended to be disposed of, or thrown away,… …   English World dictionary

  • disposable — is spelt able, not ible. See able, ible …   Modern English usage

  • disposable — [[t]dɪspo͟ʊzəb(ə)l[/t]] 1) ADJ: usu ADJ n A disposable product is designed to be thrown away after it has been used. ...disposable nappies suitable for babies up to 8lb... He shaved himself with a disposable razor. N COUNT: usu pl Disposable… …   English dictionary

  • disposable — disposability, disposableness, n. disposably, adv. /di spoh zeuh beuhl/, adj. 1. designed for or capable of being thrown away after being used or used up: disposable plastic spoons; a disposable cigarette lighter. 2. free for use; available:… …   Universalium

  • disposable — I. adjective Date: 1643 1. subject to or available for disposal; specifically remaining to an individual after deduction of taxes and necessary living expenses < disposable income > 2. designed to be used once and then thrown away < disposable… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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