Fuji introduced the first disposable cameras in 1986. They came in handy for
weddings, so you didn't have to worry about losing your camera when
you'd had a bit too much to drink, and were a great idea if you'd turned
up to a big event without your camera.
Bad for the environment you might say? Not at all according to the manufactures. They made a big deal about how recyclable the cameras were (and are).
They are incredibly popular now and if you want to take pictures underwater it is much much cheaper to buy a disposable waterproof camera than a proper one.