Create a Plastics Recycling Poster for Earth Day

April 22 is National Earth Day. This year’s theme is: Planet vs. Plastics. The planet is faced with many struggles, one of which is plastic pollution. Plastics have been used for many years now. The first 100% synthetic plastic was invented in 1907. By World War 2, the use of plastic exploded. It was a suitable alternative to other natural resources that were scarce and needed to be preserved. After the war, plastic production continued to soar as it was used to replace more expensive materials, like steel in cars, paper in packaging and wood in furniture.

The problem with plastic is that it lasts forever. It doesn’t naturally deteriorate like paper and wood. People realized this new form of pollution would be a problem by the 1970s. It was even the plastics industry themselves who recognized the problem with plastic waste and started the campaign to begin recycling efforts by the 1980s. Today, these efforts have increased and a wider campaign to fight against plastic pollution has grown; however, more needs to be done.

Did you know that most plastics have a number stamped inside of a recycle symbol? This number gives information about what type of chemical compounds that make up the plastic. It also determines the type of material the plastic can be made into when it is recycles.

Learn more about plastics recycling. Research the meaning of the plastics recycling number system. you may use the Internet or library resources. Be sure to find out:

  • the difference between each type of plastic
  • the way in which each type of plastic is recycled
  • examples of each type of plastic
  • the products that each type of plastic are made into when they are recycled

Create a poster to display the information you learned. Cut out photographs of different plastic products from each group. Write labels for each group to describe the type of plastic, how it is recycled, and what it is made into. Download a printable copy of this activity here.

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