Quick summary: Government and industry have the goal of having 100 per cent recyclable, re-usable or compostable packaging by 2025. How far are we from this goal? Is current packaging environmentally friendly in this way or far from it? And if it is, is the community aware enough of the Australasian Recycling Label (ARL) to properly recycle this packaging?
In this lesson students will undertake real-world learning as they seek the answers to these questions to advocate effectively for these positive changes.
Students will first sort common recycled products, identifying those that carry the ARL and considering how far companies currently are from the 2025 target of all packaging being recyclable, re-usable or compostable. Students then administer a survey to collect information about the community’s rubbish disposal practices and knowledge of the ARL. Finally, students use this data to positively influence companies to adopt practices that assist in designing packaging to be recycled and to carry the ARL in order to let consumers know what to do with each item of packaging when they’re at the bin.
The lessons in this unit explore the purpose of the ARL and how to translate this understanding into environmental action. We recommend this lesson be used as part of a sequence of learning within this unit.
This lesson has been developed as part of Planet Ark’s campaign around the Australasian Recycling Label and sustainable packaging. You can get involved during Planet Ark’s National Recycling Week or at any time during the school year and join thousands of amazing teachers in making a difference and creating positive environmental change. If you use any of these lessons, we highly recommend you submit an entry for the School’s Recycle Right Challenge in Term 4 and enter in the draw to win amazing prizes for your school!
Learning intentions: Students will…
- … understand that changes to materials can be reversible or irreversible.
21st century skills:
Australian Curriculum Mapping
Year 5 English:
- Plan, draft and publish imaginative, informative and persuasive print and multimodal texts, choosing text structures, language features, images and sound appropriate to purpose and audience (ACELY1704)
Year 6 English:
- Plan, draft and publish imaginative, informative and persuasive texts, choosing and experimenting with text structures, language features, images and digital resources appropriate to purpose and audience (ACELY1714)
Year 5 Mathematics:
- Pose questions and collect categorical or numerical data by observation or survey (ACMSP118)
- Describe and interpret different data sets in context (ACMSP120)
Year 5 Science:
- Scientific knowledge is used to solve problems and inform personal and community decisions (ACSHE100)
Year 6 Science:
- Scientific knowledge is used to solve problems and inform personal and community decisions (ACSHE083)
Syllabus outcomes: EN3-2A, MA3-18SP, MA3‑1WM, MA3‑3WM, ST3-7PW
General capabilities: Numeracy, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Capability, Critical and Creative Thinking, Personal and Social Capability, Ethical Understanding.
Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability.
Relevant parts of Year 5 English achievement standards: Students use language features to show how ideas can be extended. Students develop and explain a point of view about a text, selecting information, ideas and images from a range of resources. They create imaginative, informative and persuasive texts for different purposes and audiences. Students make presentations which include multimodal elements for defined purposes. They contribute actively to class and group discussions, taking into account other perspectives.
Relevant parts of Year 6 English achievement standards: Students understand how language features and language patterns can be used for emphasis. Students show how specific details can be used to support a point of view. They explain how their choices of language features and images are used. Students create detailed texts elaborating on key ideas for a range of purposes and audiences. They make presentations and contribute actively to class and group discussions, using a variety of strategies for effect.
Relevant parts of Year 5 Mathematics achievement standards: Students pose questions to gather data, and construct data displays appropriate for the data.
Relevant parts of Year 5 Science achievement standards: Students discuss how scientific developments have affected people’s lives, help us solve problems and how science knowledge develops from many people’s contributions.
Relevant parts of Year 6 Science achievement standards: Students explain how scientific knowledge helps us to solve problems and inform decisions and identify historical contributions.
This lesson is part of the wider unit of work Australasian Recycling Label.
Time required: 60 mins.
Level of teacher scaffolding: High – facilitate a class discussion, support class to create and administer a survey and support individuals or small groups to curate content and use multimedia to develop a campaign.
- A range of packaging that varies in colour, weight, shape and texture. These could include a small plastic tub, a plastic bottle, a milk carton, a cardboard box, etc. It is recommended these items are selected from kitchen, laundry, or bathroom products and that packaging that will definitely not have the ARL or a recycling label be avoided, such as takeaway containers or coffee cups. Make sure all items are clean and sharp edges are covered with masking tape.
- Advocate pack.
- A device capable of presenting a video to the class.
- Individual devices capable of accessing the internet – one per student.
- Student Worksheet – one copy per student.
Keywords: Planet Ark, Australasian Recycling Label, ARL, sustainability, sustainable packaging, recycling, reduce, re-use, waste, plastic, packaging, wrapping, litter.
Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.