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Confused about recycling? It’s not your fault - Shannon Odell

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Earth School

Let’s Begin…

If you’ve ever looked at the bottom of a disposable bottle or cup, you’ve probably noticed a recycling symbol. Seeing this, many people assume the item should be put in a recycling bin. Yet many plastics are incapable of being recycled at most centers. In fact, only 9% is recycled each year. So why are so few plastics recycled? And what do these symbols actually mean? Shannon Odell investigates.

Of the 360 million tons of plastic created annually worldwide, what percentage is actually recycled?

Watch the video and finish the Think section to complete the lesson.

About Earth School

We can save the world. Speed and Scale shows us how to unlock a cleaner, healthier and safer future by laying out a roadmap that will get us to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. How’s it going to work? We need to electrify transportation, decarbonize the grid, fix food, protect nature, clean up industry and remove carbon. To learn how we’re going to do all that - and to learn how you can take action now - explore this page.

Meet The Creators

  • Video created by TED-Ed
  • Lesson Plan created by TED Ed

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