Activity Introduction

Quick summary: Students will collect and analyse data related to the usage of plastic bottles. They will learn about the difference between recyclable and recycled plastic and calculate the different energy costs to manufacture plastic bottles from raw and recycled materials.

This lesson has been developed in partnership with Visy. For over 60 years Visy has been striving for sustainability, reducing the amount of waste going to landfill by collecting recyclable materials and recycling them into new paper and packaging products. Click here to find out more about Visy and their innovative work in recovering and transforming recyclable materials into new products to preserve our earth’s precious resources.

 

Learning intentions:

  • Students will understand the difference between recycled and recyclable materials.
  • Students will know about the environmental effects of using recycled materials.
  • Students will be able to analyse the data they collect and use graphs to synthesise findings.

21st century skills:

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions:

Year 7 Maths

  • Identify and investigate issues involving numerical data collected from primary and secondary sources (ACMSP169).

Year 8 Maths 

  • Explore the variation of means and proportions of random samples drawn from the same population (ACMSP293).

Year 9 Maths

  • Identify everyday questions and issues involving at least one numerical and at least one categorical variable, and collect data directly and from secondary sources (ACMSP228).

Year 10 Maths

  • Evaluate statistical reports in the media and other places by linking claims to displays, statistics and representative data (ACMSP253).

General capabilities: Numeracy, Critical and creative thinking, Ethical understanding.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.8.

Relevant parts of Year 7 Mathematics achievement standards: Students identify issues involving the collection of continuous data.

Relevant parts of Year 8 Mathematics achievement standards: Students explain issues related to the collection of data and the effect of outliers on means and medians in that data.

Relevant parts of Year 9 Mathematics achievement standards: Students compare techniques for collecting data from primary and secondary sources.

Relevant parts of Year 10 Mathematics achievement standards: Students describe statistical relationships between two continuous variables. They evaluate statistical reports.

Topic: Waste, Sustainability.

Unit of work: Bright Sparks – Secondary Mathematics.

Time required: 70 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Low to medium – the teacher will need to guide students through various pieces of information and stimulus, and assist them to complete a student-guided survey.

Resources required:

Keywords: Area, paper usage, recycling, conversion, large figures.

The information and statistics included in this document are approximate and have been simplified for educational/illustrative purposes. They should not be relied upon for any other purpose.

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.

Worksheets

Teacher Worksheet

Teacher Preparation

Learning intentions:

  • Students will understand the difference between recycled and recyclable materials.
  • Students will know about the environmental effects of using recycled materials.
  • Students will be able to analyse the data they collect and use graphs to synthesise findings.

Success criteria:

  • Students can explain the difference between recycled and recyclable plastic.
  • Students can collect and analyse data related to plastic usage.
  • Students can make informed decisions regarding their use of plastic and its impact on the environment.

Teacher content information: Almost everything we do in our daily lives creates waste. We can describe waste as something we no longer want or need. The food and drinks we consume, the clothes and cosmetics we wear, the transport we take, the stuff we buy, the energy we use in our homes and workplaces – all these things have waste as a part of their production.

Many of the things we use come to us wrapped in s

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Student Worksheet

Thought Starter: Is it enough to just recycle a plastic bottle?

Part A: Introduction - Recyclable Vs Recycled

1. Your teacher will give you an article about recycling. Read the article and have a think about the difference between ‘recycled’ plastic water bottles, and ‘recyclable’ plastic water bottles

Explain the difference between a ‘recycled’ and a ‘recyclable’ plastic water bottle: 

2. Now have a look at the graph below. This represents the amount of plastic produced on a global scale, in millions of tonnes:

What do you think this value will be by 2020?

 

3. Analyse the figures provided in the quote below:

Can you make the following predictions?

Table 1. Plastic predictions

Amount of plastic that will be recycled in 2020, approximately: Amount of recycled plastic that will be used to make new plastic bottles, in 2020.
tonnes tonnes

What percentage of all plastic expected to be produced in 2020 will be recycled into new plastic bottles

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