Activity Introduction

Quick summary: This lesson is designed to introduce your students to the new recycling labelling system, the Australasian Recycling Label (ARL) scheme using a flipped classroom. 

In this lesson, students explore the role of packaging labelling in recycling. Students begin by looking at what is currently happening with recycling and how issues like contamination can reduce recycling rates. They are then introduced to the ARL and investigate food package labelling in their own homes.

This lesson is a flipped classroom, where students learn new content in their own time. This strategy provides the opportunity for students to build their knowledge, attitudes and values by themselves, thereby freeing up class time for hands-on work. This lesson can be used to develop prior knowledge in preparation for this lesson: Exploring Australia’s New Recycling Labels.

This lesson has been developed as part of Planet Ark’s National Recycling Week. By participating in National Recycling Week you’ll be joining thousands of amazing teachers in making a difference and creating positive environmental change. Take part in the Schools Recycling Right Challenge for Planet Ark’s National Recycling Week. Register your lesson or other activities today!

Learning intentions:

  • Students understand the relationship between packaging labelling and recycling.
  • Students recognise the Australasian Recycling Label.

21st century skills: 

  Problem Solving     Flexibility      Critical Thinking   

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Years 7 & 8 Design and Technology:

  • Investigate the ways in which products, services and environments evolve locally, regionally and globally and how competing factors including social, ethical and sustainability considerations are prioritised in the development of technologies and designed solutions for preferred futures (ACTDEK029)

Years 7 & 8 Design and Technology:

  • Critically analyse factors, including social, ethical and sustainability considerations, that impact on designed solutions for global preferred futures and the complex design and production processes involved (ACTDEK040)

Syllabus outcomes: T4.1.2, T4.1.3, T4.4.1, T4.6.2, D&T5.3, D&T5.3.2

General capabilities: Critical and Creative Thinking

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.8

Relevant parts of Year 7 & 8 Design and Technologies achievement standards: Students explain factors that influence the design of product packaging, services and environments to meet present and future needs.

Relevant parts of Year 7 & 8 Design and Technologies achievement standards: Students explain how people working in design and technologies occupations consider factors that impact on design decisions and the technologies used to produce products, services and environments.

Topic: Waste, Recycling 

This lesson is part of the wider unit of work National Recycling Week 7 & 8.

Time required: 30 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Low – this lesson should be completed in students’ own time.

Resources required:

  • Student Worksheets – one copy per student

Keywords: Planet Ark, National Recycling Week, Australasian Recycling Label, waste, recycling, labelling, contamination.

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


Teacher Worksheet

Teacher Preparation

Learning intentions: Students will…

  • ...understand the relationship between packaging labelling and recycling.
  • ...recognise the Australasian Recycling Label.

Success criteria: Students can …

  • …work independently to complete tasks in their own time.
  • …respond to video and written information.
  • …collect data and analyse results.
  • …reflect on own behaviours.
  • …make recommendations and provide justification for their recommendations.

Teacher content information: The Australasian Recycling Label (ARL) is an evidence-based standardised labelling system that provides you with easy to understand recycling information for packaging. It shows what needs to be done with each piece of packaging to dispose of it in the best way.

There's never been a more important time for Australians to dispose of their waste and recycling correctly. Research shows that Australians care about the environment and know that recycling is important, but with more than 200 recy

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: Research shows that the first place consumers look for packaging disposal information is on the package

1. What’s recycling about?

If you were to do a quick internet search for the following term: ‘recycling in Australian news’, you would see a range of headlines describing the current state of recycling in this country. At the time this lesson was written, these included headlines such as:

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