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!

Quizzes coming soon!

Several plastic bottles standing in a line

Downloadable Worksheets

Plastic Quizzes

3
Created on By Millie Green
Image of plastic bottles

Science of Materials Plastic Quiz KS1

Have you just completed our KS1 science activity worksheet about the properties of plastic? This is a quick quiz to test your knowledge!

1 / 8

What are most plastics made from?

Screwed up plastic bottle

2 / 8

Name some properties of plastic...

Screwed up plastic bottle

3 / 8

Name something that is usually made of plastic.

4 / 8

Name an object that you would never make out of plastic.

5 / 8

Are plastics a renewable or non-renewable resource?

Image of energy sources

6 / 8

Where should your hard plastic packaging go?

Two simple metal dustbins on a patio.

7 / 8

Choose the reasons why we should recycle.

Satellite image of the earth

8 / 8

How can you reduce the plastic you use at home? (Select all that apply)

Your score is

The average score is 71%

0%

3
Created on By Millie Green
Plastic sandwich wrapper and plastic bottle lying discarded in grass

Assessment Quiz: KS2 Plastic Worksheet

Have you just completed our KS2 science activity worksheet about plastic? This is a quick quiz to test your knowledge!

1 / 9

Are plastics a problem to wildlife when they end up in the sea?

Picture of turtle about to eat a plastic bag

2 / 9

Which of these sea creatures is a predator?

Image of 4 jellyfish in dark water

3 / 9

Which of these sea creatures is a primary consumer?

Image of a white tailed eagle attempting to catch a fish swimming in the water

4 / 9

What is the item found most regularly on beach cleans?

Picture of lots of plastic litter along a beach

5 / 9

Are plastics a renewable or non-renewable resource?

Image of energy sources

6 / 9

Name some properties of plastic...

Screwed up plastic bottle

7 / 9

Where should your hard plastic packaging go?

Two simple metal dustbins on a patio.

8 / 9

Choose the reasons why we should recycle.

Satellite image of the earth

9 / 9

How can you reduce the plastic you use at home? (Select all that apply)

Your score is

The average score is 33%

0%

1
Created on By Millie Green
Screwed up plastic bottle

KS3/4 Plastic Assessment Quiz: Floating and sinking

Test Your Knowledge on plastics and buoyancy.

1 / 10

Which of these materials is a polymer?

2 / 10

Name three properties of polymers.

3 / 10

What is density?

Image of liquids in beakers of various colours and solid objects

4 / 10

How do you calculate density?

Green and blue atoms in a cube shape

5 / 10

Which of these objects would not float in water (density of 1g/cm3)?

Image of plastic bottles

6 / 10

True or False: Seawater is less dense than distilled water.

Drop of water

7 / 10

What happens to pressure in a liquid as its depth increases?

Image underwater with light rigth coming throw from the surface

8 / 10

Complete the sentence: Plastics are a problem when discarded at sea because....

Picture of lots of plastic litter along a beach

9 / 10

What is produced when plastics break down in the environment?

Child's plastic bucket on beach full of plastic litter

10 / 10

Which is the best option when buying a drink to takeaway from a coffee shop?

Copper teapot and tray

Your score is

The average score is 90%

0%

4
Created on By Millie Green
Picture of turtle about to eat a plastic bag

Plastic and Plastic Pollution Quiz

Science of Materials - Plastic

1 / 14

Name some properties of plastic...

Screwed up plastic bottle

2 / 14

How much plastic packaging is recycled in the UK?

Image of plastic bottles

3 / 14

How many types of plastic polymer are there?

Seven types of polymers

4 / 14

What are most plastics made from?

Screwed up plastic bottle

5 / 14

When was synthetic plastic invented?

6 / 14

How can you reduce the plastic you use at home? (Select all that apply)

7 / 14

Which of these inventions actually exists as an alternative to plastic packaging?

8 / 14

What is produced when plastics break down in the environment?

Child's plastic bucket on beach full of plastic litter

9 / 14

Complete the sentence: Plastics are a problem when discarded at sea because....

Picture of lots of plastic litter along a beach

10 / 14

Are plastics a renewable or non-renewable resource?

Image of energy sources

11 / 14

What is the item found most regularly on beach cleans?

Picture of lots of plastic litter along a beach

12 / 14

Are plastics a problem to wildlife when they end up in the sea?

Picture of turtle about to eat a plastic bag

13 / 14

Where should your hard plastic packaging go?

Two simple metal dustbins on a patio.

14 / 14

Choose the reasons why we should recycle.

Satellite image of the earth

Your score is

The average score is 60%

0%