101 – LESSON 1: Introduction to Ocean Plastics

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Learning Objectives

Lesson 1 provides an overview of plastic, explains plastic Resin Identification Codes, and explains how to sort and recycle plastic correctly. After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Identify the two main types of plastics
  • Describe timeline of plastic and plastic pollution
  • Explain what most synthetic plastic is made from
  • Describe the main steps in the plastics production process
  • Describe potential environmental impacts of resource extraction for plastic production
  • Describe the basic molecular structure of plastic
  • Describe the purpose/function of Resin Identification Codes (RICs)
  • Identify Resin Identification Codes
  • Explain the role that RICs play in recycling plastics
  • Explain why all plastics with the same RIC are not recyclable
  • Explain why there is so much plastic
  • Explain where most plastic ends up
  • Explain what ALDFG/ghost gear is and why it is such a problem
  • Explain what happens to plastic in the environment
  • Explain how wish-cycling can lead to recycling contamination
  • Sort recycling properly
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