The science of materials is the basis of much recycling knowledge and helps scientists work out how to recycle stuff better. Many of the sorting machines used to separate out recycling rely on scientific principles; for example, some plastics are separated using floating and sinking machines.

Most plastic can be recycled everywhere in Devon. Plastic bottles, tubs and pots are recycled in kerbside collections (see our District Recycling Sheets). Hard plastics like toys and plastic outdoor chairs can be recycled at Household Waste Recycling Centres. Find your nearest one on our main Recycling website.

The worksheets on this page will help young people understand the science of the material called plastic. We hope doing these activities will create better scientists and more critical thinkers. We know the wicked problems (complex and difficult issues like climate change and biodiversity loss) we are leaving the next generation will need some innovative thinking to solve them!

Person in blue plastic gloves holiding a piece of clear plastic with background of scientific looking machine

Downloadable Worksheets