Week 8: The Science Behind Plastic

Published by gyoung on

The Science behind Plastic– Week 8

We have learned about recycling and the amount of plastic garbage in our oceans, as well as some ways to clean up this mess. Last week we took a look at how plastic is killing some of our aquatic friends, especially turtles. Let’s take a step back and look at the science behind plastic and why plastic is so bad for our environment.

Let’s take a look at how plastic is made.

Watch this video From Gas to Plastic

For all you chemistry Brainiacs, this one is for you. It’s also for anyone that wants to try wrapping their brain around this, but don’t let the plastic hurt you.

Polymers and plastics, Chemistry 101


Now let’s answer some questions. We want you to come up with the answers either by researching or discussing as a group. Write them down for later discussions.

  1. Can we live without plastic?
  2. How important is plastic in our lives?
  3. Is there an alternative to plastic?

Now that you have had some type of discussion, let’s get a little more detailed.

  1. What are the different types or categories of plastics?
  2. Make a list of companies, industries, business, or any place that uses plastic. This is very open so you can be as general or as specific asyou want. Make a list of the business and what they use plastic for,
  3. How are these plastics recycled?

Would you sail on this boat? Read this article.

After reading the article maybe you have an idea on how to use recyclable plastic bottles.


Science of plastics

The Dirty Dozen

Green Facts

Life without plastic

Plastic alternatives

Baby Steps

The Economics of Change

WOW! Very interesting

Friends of the Earth

BEST kit 2017

BEST Consumable Kit 2017

A Little Competition:

Here is how it works.

  • Start collecting any type of plastic that can be recycled. Weigh the plastic, take a picture of the plastic and record the weight. Let us know how you are recycling it.
  • You can submit multiple pictures.
  • There will a prize for the school that recycles the most.

Here is what you need to submit:

  1. School Name and HUB
  2. Picture of the weight
  3. Picture of the recycled materials
  4. Amount of recycled materials
  5. Where are you recycling it

Submit to bestology@bestinc.org

Community Connection:

Maybe there IS a solution –  VIDEO

The problem of plastic killing our marine friends is not something new. Companies out there are finding solutions to make their products more environmentally friendlier and less harmful. The video above gives one solution. Are there more?

See if you can find companies that are making products that are helping and not killing our marine friends.

List the company, the product and the science behind their product that makes it less harmful.

 BEST Connection:

This was last week’s BEST connection – Look at the BEST kit. Is there anything in there that can cause damage to marine life if not disposed of correctly?

If there are items you found that can cause damage to marine life, then do you have an alternative product you can suggest?

Bloom’s Taxonomy: add, create, explore, evaluate, generate, include, identify, list, observe, reflect, review, subdivide, use, and write

Workforce Skills: critical thinking, materials evaluation, reading comprehension, science, writing

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