Sustainability and plastics

What is recycling?

When something is recycled it is reused or turned into something else. Materials such as glass, metal and paper are quite easy to recycle and certain types of plastic are too.

Objects that aren’t recycled, such as things that go in the rubbish, are taken to landfill sites. These are places where rubbish gets buried and left to rot away and biodegrade.

Single-use plastics

Some plastic objects are only used once then thrown away. These are called single-use plastics and include things such as plastic bags, bottles, straws and crisp packets. These objects cannot be recycled and can take hundreds of years to biodegrade. It is not sustainable to keep on using them - and if we do, we could permanently harm our environment.

Plastic is also harming animals and wildlife in rivers, lakes and oceans - they can get tangled up in plastic objects or can even eat them. However, by recycling, reducing the packaging we use and reusing things such as bags and bottles, hopefully together we can all help save our planet.

Landfill site: waste disposal is a big problem around the world.

Landfill site: waste disposal is a big problem around the world.

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Natural resources
Fossil fuels and renewable energy
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Sustainability and plastics