Reduce, Reuse and Recycle

Goal 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure


This activity is aiming to make the students think about creative ways of handling their waste and to make them reflect upon innovative solutions for the benefit of sustainability.

unknown-topicArt and Design

stopwatch1-5 45 minute lessons depending on the size of the projects

circular-line-with-word-age-in-the-center13 – 21 years old

group-of-three-men-standing-side-by-side-hugging-each-otherGroups of up to 28


Behavioural competences

To utilise the access to innovative solutions for the benefit of sustainability


To reflect upon the role of innovation in developing globally sustainable industry and infrastructure

Lifelong learning key competences

  • Sense of initiative and entrepreneurship
  • Social and civic competencies


  • Used packaging materials (bottles, cereal packaging, milk cartons, etc.)
  • Scissors, sharp knives and tools to cut and punch holes in the material
  • Paint and brushes
  • Wire
  • Metal rings
  • Glue


Ask the students to bring plastic bottles, cereal packaging, milk cartons or other forms of packaging that they have used and would otherwise throw out. Ask them to think about creative ways of reusing them.


Brainstorm ideas of reusing the materials. You can find inspiration from the links under “further information”.

Ask the students to start their reusing projects. They can work independently or in groups.

When the students are finished with their projects, make an exhibition of their products.


Discuss whether some of the ideas that came up during the brainstorm or while the students were making their projects could be further developed.

Discuss the environmental problems that are caused by bad management of waste and the importance of reducing, reusing and recycling products. Talk about what individuals can do to reduce, reuse or recycle their waste.

Follow up suggestions

Tell the students about the Edible Six-Pack Rings project (see “further information”).

  • Discuss the problem of plastic in general (not necessarily plastic rings from beer or soda packs) in the nature.
  • Ask the students if anyone have some innovative ideas to make products more sustainable or to reuse existing products. Write the ideas down on the board and discuss how they could be developed.
  • If there are some good ideas you can work on a business plan on how to realise them.

Ideas for actions

Start a reduce, reuse and recycle project at the school or in the local community

Further information

The Sustainable Development Goal 9 (Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure) targets:

The Sustainable Development Goal 12 (Responsible Consumption & Production) targets:

The Sustainable Development Goal 14 (Life Below Water) targets:

Jessica Leber, “Designing To Waste Less And Reuse More: 2015 In Environmental Innovation,” 21 December 2015,

Inspiration for reusing-projects:

About the Edible Six-Pack Rings project:

Liz Dwyer, “Brewing Up a Six-Pack Ring That Won’t Kill Turtles,” 27 May 2016,