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    Below are links to Science Learning Hub resources for primary teachers related to recycling and biodegradability in the Material World strand of the New Zealand Curriculum.

    Recycling and biodegradability are favourite topics from the Material World strand of the curriculum for primary teachers. Here are some helpful resources from the Hub. Here are some helpful resources from the Hub. Another helpful resource is Thinking about plastic – planning pathways.

    The issue of waste

    New Zealand generates almost 3.2 million tonnes of waste that is buried in landfill sites. Waste disposed of in this way is an inefficient use of resources, as much of the waste could have been separated and reused, recycled or turned into compost.

    Waste management – Article

    Oceans of rubbish – Article

    Household waste – Image

    Modern landfill systems

    The way we dispose of wastes in New Zealand has changed dramatically over the last few decades. We have moved from literal dumps and tips to complex landfill systems. The following activities cover engineering practices, a timeline of rubbish disposal, waste management and minimisation in our local environments.

    Looking at modern landfill systems – Activity

    Label the landfill – Activity

    Modern landfill system – Interactive

    Biodegradability, recycling and reuse

    A biodegradable object is one that will break down quickly and safely into harmless compounds by using the action of microorganisms. Composting is another name for biodegrading.

    Biodegradability – Article

    Biodegradability, compostability and bioplastics – Article

    Measuring biodegradability – Article

    Biodegradability experiment – Activity

    Soil means life – Article

    Observing soil microbes (composting) – Activity

    Potato plates – This introductory article links to articles, media and student activities.

    Testing the degradability of potato plates – Activity

    Bioplastics – Article

    The ZESPRI biospife – Article

    Climate action – Article

    Skateboards made out of harakeke? – Article

    When you can make plastics that have an environmental benefit or don’t use fossil fuels, that gives me an extra drive and a passion to develop an end product.

    Dr Martin Markotsis

    Waste – a growing challenge! – Article, level 1–4 resources on waste and recycling

    Plastic recycling

    There are exciting new developments in plastic waste recycling in New Zealand, find out more.

    Plastics and recycling – Article

    Flight Plastics recycling technology – Article

    DIY plastic recycling plant – Activity

    Plastic – reuse, recycle or rubbish game – Activity

    What happens to our plastic bottles? – Activity

    Online citizen science

    Citizen scientists are volunteers who contribute to scientific projects, usually by collecting or analysing data.

      Published 1 July 2015, Updated 29 November 2017 Referencing Hub articles