Ready to Save The Planet?

Problems with Plastics


30-60 Minutes


In the safety and comfort of your own home


Throughout the year




Youth-led initiatives help make changes that are long-term and sustainable. You have the power to make a difference!


Our mission is to empower communities to leap into the future of clean energy.

Explore the process of how a simple plastic water bottle is made, beginning with the extraction of raw materials and continuing through the stages of manufacturing, selling, and disposing of materials.

Understand the step-by-step process of making a plastic water bottle and how it impacts the environment.


  • 1 cup of flour
  • ¼ cup of salt
  • ½ cup of water
  • measuring cup
  • one small bowl 
  • 1 stirring tool
  • food coloring (optional)




Sound like fun?VIEW INSTRUCTIONS to get started.
Sending or dropping off items to a nonprofit? Don't forget to tell them you found them through PGK! Download and print a packing slip here.

Your Challenge: Simulate the process of manufacturing plastic using items around your home. 


  1. Place 1 cup of flour into the mixing bowl. The flour represents the oil extracted from the Earth to make plastic.
  2. Add a ¼ cup of salt into the mixing bowl and stir with your mixing tool. The salt represents the manufacturing add-ins used to make plastic.
  3. Add ½ a cup of water and knead it into a dough-like consistency.
    1. (Optional: Add about two drops of food coloring for different water bottle colors). It will start to form a solid blob, representing plastic.
  4. Knead until it forms plastic (GAK - a solid blob). Then mold the plastic into five mini bottle shapes. 
  5. Walk your plastic bottles around your home for 5-minutes, to represent the time and energy it takes to ship a plastic bottle to a company where it gets filled with water and then sold.
  6. Fold a piece of paper in half, then unfold it to lay it flat on a table. Label one side landfill and the other side recycle. 
    1. (Optional: Draw and decorate each side of your paper)
  7. Each plastic bottle represents 20% of all the plastic bottles produced. Place one plastic bottle in the recycle section of your paper. Place the other four in the landfill section.
  8. Calculate the percentage of how many plastic bottles are in the landfill versus in the recycling center. 




Challenge Questions:

  1. How will this lesson change the way you think about using plastic bottles?
  2. What are some ways you can help your community or neighborhood fight against plastic pollution?  


How can you save plastic and energy at home?

It costs over 10,000 times more to produce a plastic water bottle than it does to pay for the tap water in your home. Switch to reusable water bottles to save energy, resources, and money! Start by creating a list of all the plastic items found in your home. Next, think about ways you can use less, replace items with more sustainable options, and spread the word! If everyone does their part, a few small actions can make a big difference!