Use this lesson with secondary students to look at the issue of plastic waste.

The Climate Action in Language Education series

This lesson is part of our series of 'Climate Action in Language Education' teaching materials. There are twelve lesson plans in the series, available for teachers of primary, secondary and adult learners of English. See the full list of lesson plans in this series.

About this lesson plan

This lesson is part of the Climate Action in Language Teaching series of engaging lessons about the climate emergency and biodiversity loss. It explores different topics connected to the crisis. Learners will think about what happens to the things we throw away. They categorise some rubbish into ‘necessary’ and ‘luxury’ products then answer questions about the last plastic item they threw away. They read the ‘autobiography’ of a plastic bottle and write their own story in the same style. Finally, they discuss the extent to which other people’s waste is their responsibility and the responsibility of all, and agree on practical ways to reduce plastic waste in the world at three levels: personal, local and national/ corporate.

The lesson plan and student materials have been designed to be used in either face-to-face classrooms or remote teaching contexts.


  • To highlight the environmental impact of waste on the living planet, especially plastics
  • To encourage responsible consumption and responsible activism
  • To discuss the causes and consequences behind these issues as well as possible solutions
  • To practise the passive voice in the past

Age and level:

Lower secondary learners at intermediate level (CEFR B1)


90 minutes approximately or two shorter lessons


The materials can be downloaded below in PDF format.

  • Lesson plan for remote teaching contexts
  • Lesson plan for face-to-face classroom teaching
  • Remote teaching class presentation
  • Student worksheets

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