Big bag ban

Big bag ban


The EU has recently approved tough new measures to slash the use of plastic bags. New targets will force each country to reduce plastic bag use by 80% before 2019.
In this activity students examine degradable plastic bags as a possible alternative to ordinary plastic bags. They choose questions to ask experts, and come to a reasoned decision in answer to the dilemma question: will degradable plastic bags solve the problems caused by ordinary plastic bags?


Learning objectives

  • Materials: properties of polymers
  • Science in society: evaluate the merits of a solution to a real-world problem

    Blueprint curriculum link

    • Unit: Structure & bonding
    • Concept: Structure & properties: Physical properties depend upon the structure of a substance, the energy to overcome forces between particles and the ability of charged particles to flow
    • Skills: Read: Make inferences
    • Learning stage: Analyse

    Activity contents

    • Teachers guide
    • PowerPoint file

    The activity is delivered as a zip file. After you checkout, you will be sent an email with the link to download it.


    News story

    The EU demands for a reduction in plastic bag use.

    Article about biodegradable plastics

    Are they better for the environment? This article is accessible to students.

    Newspaper article 

    This article is about research on biodegradable plastic bags.

    Background reading on degradable plastics

    Very long and detailed report of research literature on degradable bags, for teacher reference.