Watt Watchers of Texas: Texas is Too Good To Waste™

Activity: Recycling and Reusing Plastic

Grade Level:

Activity Overview: Recycling is making a material ready for reuse in a new form. Reusing is when you find another purpose for an already existing object. For example, when you use an empty glass jar as a drinking glass, that is reuse.

Time: Varies based on activity.

Plastic is everywhere. It is the cup that we drink out of, the straw in our drink and the chair that you sit on. Plastic can be very useful and important but it comes in many forms. Some of those forms are used often and for many years, while others are used only once and disposed of.

Many types of plastic are recyclable, while other soft forms of plastic are not. 

Some forms of plastic are used temporarily and disposed of after only one use. While most of these are not recyclable, there are strategies to be resourceful with how you use these items.

  • When you order a drink, ask for it without a straw or bring your own reusable straw with you.
  • Avoid using plastic or paper grocery bags at the store. Instead, bring your own reusable bags with you. Keeping your reusable bags in your vehicle with you will help you have them available when you need them.
  • Instead of using a disposable water bottle, bring your own reusable water bottle. If you do use a disposable water bottle, make sure that you recycle it when you are done.
  • Putting your lunch in reusable containers or bags, instead of one-use plastic bags, can help decrease the amount of plastic waste that you produce.

Where Does Plastic End Up?

More than three-quarters of all plastic ends up in landfills, where it can take between decades and hundreds of years to degrade. When plastic is littered, instead of being discarded correctly, it can also end up in the ocean, affecting marine life. When plastic is recycled it can be reused, saving materials, energy, money and the environment.


  • Make Your Own Reusable Shopping Bag
  • Decorate A Reusable Shopping Bag


VI.C.4, SCI.K.1B, SCI.1.1B, SCI.2.1B. SCI.3.1B, SCI.4.1B, SCI.5.1B

Watt Watchers of Texas is a Partner Program of Smart Energy Education.
envelope-ochevron-circle-rightmenu-circlecross-circle linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram