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  • In this activity, students play an active game to sort plastic items into three categories: reuse, recycle and rubbish. It is an ideal introductory activity for a recycling topic as it encourages students to observe and consider how they use and reuse plastics in their everyday lives.

    The game can also be played during and after the recycling topic as a formative assessment tool.

    By the end of this activity, students should be able to:

    • consider whether specific plastic items can be reused or recycled
    • justify their reasons for choosing to reuse, recycle or throw out a plastic item
    • locate and identify RIC numbers on plastic items.

    Download the Word file (see link below) for:

    • background information for teachers
    • equipment list
    • teacher instructions.

    Nature of science

    All students need to be able to use an understanding of science to solve problems faced in everyday life and to confront and make decisions about issues that involve science. Recycling and reuse of plastics is an age-appropriate place for younger students to participate and contribute.

    Related content

    Use these Hub resources to learn more about plastics and recycling, bioplastics, waste management and Flight Plastics recycling technology.

    Plastic is a wicked problem. It’s incredibly useful, but it’s also a huge environmental issue. A helpful resource is Thinking about plastic – planning pathways which includes our interactive planning pathway – use this to begin a cross-curricular look at plastics.

    Activity idea

    The plastic items used in this activity can be reused in the activity DIY plastic recycling plant.

      Published 30 October 2017 Referencing Hub articles
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