The Challenge of Recycling

The Challenge of Recycling

Use this infographic to explore ways to reduce the use of plastics, learn about the types of plastics that can be recycled, and learn how to increase recycling.


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Morgan Stanley

Idea for Use in the Classroom

Ask students to collect several pieces of plastic trash from home, the school cafeteria, or their classroom. Have students make a four-column data table listing the item, predicted ease of recycling (easy, manageable, difficult, very difficult), and actual ease of recycling. They should fill in the first two columns. Then introduce the infographic to students and ask them to fill in the last column.

Divide the class in to two groups. Have one group of students read the article "Beach Clean-up Study Shows Global Scope of Plastic Pollution" along with the photo in the article. Have the second group read the infographics from the "Fast Facts About Plastic Pollution" article.

After students have reviewed their assigned articles, bring the class together to share what they learned and to brainstorm. First, have students brainstorm ways to decrease the amount of single-use plastics that are used worldwide. Then have them come up with ideas to increase the amount of recycling activity that takes place. Record the ideas presented during each brainstorm session. Select one to two ideas from each brainstorm that students think should be implemented immediately and discuss why.

Media Credits

The audio, illustrations, photos, and videos are credited beneath the media asset, except for promotional images, which generally link to another page that contains the media credit. The Rights Holder for media is the person or group credited.

Tyson Brown, National Geographic Society
National Geographic Society
Production Managers
Gina Borgia, National Geographic Society
Jeanna Sullivan, National Geographic Society
Program Specialists
Sarah Appleton, National Geographic Society, National Geographic Society
Margot Willis, National Geographic Society
Clint Parks
Last Updated

May 20, 2022

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