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  • In 2017, Flight Plastics closed the recycling loop by opening New Zealand’s first PET wash and recycling plant. PET plastics (plastic products with the RIC number 1) no longer need to be shipped overseas for processing.

    In this activity, students are introduced to the PET plastic recycling process. They track a plastic bottle as it is transformed from a waste product to a new food-grade package at the Flight Plastics plant.

    The activity is suitable for NZ Curriculum levels 1 and 2. It uses Ready to Read books and has visual and written literacy components.

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

    • use visual resources to gain information about the plastic recycling process
    • discuss some of the steps involved in processing/recycling a PET plastic item
    • place the steps in the order they are likely to happen
    • consider how recycling fits into the use and reuse of plastics.

    Download the Word file (see link below) for:

    • background information for teachers
    • teacher instructions
    • student instructions.

    Related content

    Watch the video Flight Plastics recycling plant in action for a more detailed explanation of the plastic recycling process.

    The Hub activity DIY recycling plant uses Hub video and written resources to design and operate a PET plastic wash and recycling plant, loosely based on the Flight Plastics process. It is suitable for middle and upper primary students.

    Science and literacy – making connections is a recorded webinar that explores the connections between science and literacy learning and how they can be integrated.

    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.

    Useful link

    Visit the Flight Plastics Ltd website for more information about its products and its commitment to sustainable environmental actions.


    Flight Plastics has a long history in producing plastic packaging, with over 40 years in the plastics industry. The company is New Zealand owned and is committed to constant investment in new technologies and its highly skilled people.

    During the 1970s, Flight Plastics pioneered local production of PET by being the first company in Australasia to produce PET rollstock and thermoformed plastic containers. Now Flight is the first company producing eco-friendly RPET rollstock and finished containers all under one roof.

    The Science Learning Hub acknowledges the collaboration with Flight Plastics in the production of this article.

      Published 30 October 2017 Referencing Hub articles
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