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Table Completion - Practice 8

Recycling Programs

Questions 1-8

Complete the following table of information, using NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS for each gap.


Easily recycled?


Used for …



bottles, containers, fibre fill, bean bags, rope, cat bumpers,

tennis ball felt, 1 , cassette tapes, sails



containers, 2, pining, plastic lumber, rope



3, sltower curtains, medical tubing, Vinyl dashboards, baby bottle nipples



wrapping films, 5, sandwich bags, containers



containers, e.g. Tupperware



coffee cups, 7, meat trays, packing

“peanuts”, 8, cassette tapes



Special products




1. combs

2. toys

3. plastic pipes

4. no

5. grocery bags

6. yes

7. disposable cutlery

8. insulation


Lecturer: Today, we’re going, to look at recycling programmes. The confusion over what we can and cannot recycle continues to confound consumers. Let’s look at plastics first, as they are especially troublesome, since different types of plastic require different processing to be reformulated and reused as raw material. Some municipalities accept all types of plastic for recycling, while others only accept jugs, containers, and bottles with certain numbers. stamped on their bottoms.

The symbol code we’re familiar with – a single digit ranging from 1 to 7 and surrounded by a triangle of arrows — was designed by the Society of the Plastics Industry, or SPI, in 1988 to allow consumers and recyclers to differentiate types of plastics while providing a uniform coding system for manufacturers. The numbers, which many countries now require to be moulded or imprinted on all — or at least most — containers that can accept the half-inch minimum-size symbol, identify the type of plastic. The symbols also help recyclers do their jobs more effectively. The easiest and most common plastics to recycle are made of polyethylene terephthalate, or PETE, and are assigned the number 1. Examples include soda and water bottles, medicine containers, and many other common consumer product containers. Once. it has been processed by a recycling facility, PETE can become fibre fill for winter coats, sleeping bags, and life jackets. It can also be used to make bean bags, rope, car bumpers, tennis ball felt, combs (Q1) cassette tapes, sails for boats, furniture and, of course, other plastic bottles.

Number 2 is reserved for high-density polyethylene plastics. These include heavier containers that hold laundry detergents and bleaches as well as milk, shampoo, and motor oil. Plastic labelled with the number 2 is often recycled into toys (Q2), piping, plastic lumber, and rope. Like plastic designated number 1, it is widely accepted at recycling centres.

Plastics that are less commonly recycled include polyvinyl chloride, commonly used in plastic pipes (Q3), shower curtains, medical tubing, vinyl dashboards, and even some baby bottle nipples. These get the number 3. Like number 4, which include wrapping films, grocery and sandwich bags (Q5), and other containers made of low-density polyethylene, and 5, which are polypropylene containers used in Tupperware, among other products, few municipal recycling centres will accept it due to its very low rate of recyclability (Q4).

Another useful plastic to recycle is number 6, which is. used in polystyrene, or Styrofoam, items such as coffee Cups, diSposable cutlery (Q7), meat trays, packing “peanuts”, and insulation (Q8). It is widely accepted (Q6) because it can be reprocessed into many items, including cassette tapes and rigid foam insulation.

Last but far from least, the hardest plastics to recycle are items crafted from various combinations of the aforementioned plastics or from unique plastic formulations not commonly used. Usually imprinted with a number 7 or nothing at all, these plastics are the most difficult to recycle and, as such, are seldom collected or recycled. More ambitious consumers should feel free to return such items to the product manufacturers to avoid contributing to the local waste stream, and instead put the burden on the makers to recycle or dispose of the items properly.

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