Plastic-free is not easy

This lesson raises awareness of how much unnecessary plastic is used in packaging and asks students to look at alternatives.


This lesson is based on photographs taken in a local supermarket during a recent campaign which challenged consumers to shop without buying anything in plastic packaging during a week. The photos were shared on social media with the hashtag accompanying the campaign to be used as a springboard for discussion and project work with students. As well as offering a great context for reviewing the language of food, it also offers a chance to expand on this topic and look at the language used to talk about issues surrounding plastic waste.


  • To discuss issues surrounding plastic packaging in supermarkets
  • To study and practise the language of food items and packaging
  • To undertake an out-of-class project involving taking and captioning photographs

Age group:

Lower- and upper-secondary students


CEF level A2 and above


From 25 minutes to 1 hour depending on which tasks you choose to use


The lesson plan and student material can be downloaded below in PDF format

Lesson plan190.64 KB
Language Level


Submitted by Jason Jixun M… on Thu, 07/04/2019 - 16:04


I think it can be divided into small activities, before classes, to warm the situation and test students' eco-friendly behaviors... Further more, it's very happy that photography skills can also be applied, together with eco-protecting awareness. Finally, I have learnt a course from Future Learn Educational Platform named Exploring Our Oceans. After its last week - especially some sessions like A Plastic Ocean, you will find how badly plastic hurt our ocean and animals, even deep sea fish... Linked with this course plan, I think students' practical activities in life can benefit thing's modification. And take back a step, if you cannot control your behaviours to use plastic, it's better to think - improving continuing using times and keeping some plastic packings much longer in your family (reducing changing times) rather than single-time using... Hopefully, through our endeavors, the situation will be better.

Research and insight

We have hundreds of case studies, research papers, publications and resource books written by researchers and experts in ELT from around the world. 

See our publications, research and insight

Sign up to our newsletters for teachers and teacher educators

We will process your data to send you our newsletter and updates based on your consent. You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the "unsubscribe" link at the bottom of every email. Read our privacy policy for more information.