The Reading / Listening - Biodegradable Plastic - Level 4

Plastic has polluted the countryside and endangered wildlife for decades. Environmentalists told us to cut the amount we use or switch to biodegradable alternatives. Scientists have now made a biodegradable plastic, so the billions of plastic bags, cups, straws, etc. that we throw away each day could be "compostable". They could break down like organic waste. The plastic breaks down within weeks, rather than centuries, using just heat and water.



This new plastic has enzymes inside it. When these enzymes are exposed to heat and water, they eat away at the plastic and turn it into nutrients for the soil. A professor said 98 per cent of the plastic her team made degraded. She said: "We are...saying that we are on the right track. We can solve this continuing problem of single-use plastics." She added: "Look at all the wasted stuff we throw away - clothing, shoes, electronics....We are taking things from the earth at a faster rate than we can return them."

Try the same news story at these levels:

    Biodegradable Plastic - Level 5 or  Biodegradable Plastic - Level 6

Sources
  • https://phys.org/news/2021-04-biodegradable-plastics-compostable.html
  • https://www.sciencenews.org/article/plastic-compost-new-enzyme-technique-biodegradable
  • https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2021-04-22/biodegradable-plastic-compost-enzymes-environment-soil-green/100082958


Make sure you try all of the online activities for this reading and listening - There are dictations, multiple choice, drag and drop activities, crosswords, hangman, flash cards, matching activities and a whole lot more. Please enjoy :-)



Phrase Matching

Paragraph 1

  1. Plastic has polluted the
  2. endangered wildlife for
  3. Environmentalists told us to
  4. switch to biodegradable
  5. billions of plastic
  6. organic
  7. breaks down within weeks,
  8. using just heat
  1. cut the amount
  2. rather than centuries
  3. bags
  4. and water
  5. countryside
  6. alternatives
  7. waste
  8. decades

Paragraph 2

  1. This new plastic has enzymes
  2. exposed
  3. they eat away
  4. turn it into nutrients
  5. we are on the
  6. single-
  7. Look at all the wasted
  8. taking things from the earth at
  1. at the plastic
  2. use plastics
  3. right track
  4. a faster rate
  5. inside it
  6. stuff
  7. to heat and water
  8. for the soil

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

Plastic has (1) ___________________ and endangered wildlife for decades. Environmentalists told us to (2) ___________________ we use or switch to biodegradable alternatives. Scientists have now made a biodegradable plastic, so the (3) ___________________ bags, cups, straws, etc. that we throw (4) ___________________ could be "compostable". They could break down (5) ___________________. The plastic breaks down within weeks, (6) ___________________, using just heat and water.

This new plastic has (7) ___________________. When these enzymes are exposed to heat and water, they (8) ___________________ the plastic and turn it (9) ___________________ the soil. A professor said 98 per cent of the plastic her team made degraded. She said: "We are...saying that we are on (10) ___________________. We can solve this continuing problem of (11) ___________________." She added: "Look at all the wasted stuff we throw away - clothing, shoes, electronics....We are taking things from the earth at a (12) ___________________ we can return them."

Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

Plastichaspollutedthecountrysideandendangeredwildlifefordecades
.Environmentaliststoldustocuttheamountweuseorswitchtobiodegra
dablealternatives.Scientistshavenowmadeabiodegradableplastic,s
othebillionsofplasticbags,cups,straws,etc.thatwethrowawayeachda
ycouldbe"compostable".Theycouldbreakdownlikeorganicwaste.The
plasticbreaksdownwithinweeks,ratherthancenturies,usingjustheat
andwater.Thisnewplastichasenzymesinsideit.Whentheseenzymesa
reexposedtoheatandwater,theyeatawayattheplasticandturnitinton
utrientsforthesoil.Aprofessorsaid98percentoftheplasticherteamma
dedegraded.Shesaid:"Weare...sayingthatweareontherighttrack.W
ecansolvethiscontinuingproblemofsingle-useplastics."Sheadded:"
Lookatallthewastedstuffwethrowaway-clothing,shoes,electron
ics....Wearetakingthingsfromtheearthatafasterratethanwecanretur
nthem."

Student survey

Write five GOOD questions about this topic in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper. When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

(Please look at page 12 of the PDF to see a photocopiable example of this activity.)

Discussion — Write your own questions

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

(a) ________________

(b) ________________

(c) ________________

(d) ________________

(e) ________________

(f) ________________

(g) ________________

(h) ________________

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

(i) ________________

(j) ________________

(k) ________________

(l) ________________

(m) ________________

(n) ________________

(o) ________________

(p) ________________





Free writing

Write about this topic for 10 minutes. Comment on your partner’s paper.

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Answers

(Please check your answers against the article above.

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