Reality check – 2.2 million tonnes of single-use plastic packaging waste was generated in 2014.
In that year 842,000 tonnes was recovered and 800,000 tonnes was exported for recycling.
A total of 500,000 tonnes went to China. However, China has now changed its rules vastly reducing importing plastic waste and plastic is already building up in the UK.
The EU intends to ban single use plastic from 2030. So, what do we do about the overall quantity of plastic waste and the capacity we have to reduce, reuse and recycle it?
Why teach this?
When sea creatures in the deepest parts of the ocean have been found to have plastic fibres in their stomachs, it is surely the time to end single-use plastics once and for all.
KS4 students should be able to evaluate ways of reducing the use of plastics to preserve hydrocarbon resources, save energy and reduce waste and should be able to carry out a comparative life cycle assessment for shopping bags made from plastic and paper.
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