Map My Soft Drink

Age group: 10-15

This page provides you with a snapshot of this activity that lets students to learn how one gets ones favourite soft drink and what happens to it after you have finished drinking it. Map how your soft drink comes to you. Understand how the way it is packed has an impact on waste, use of resources and pollution. Everyone can make a difference and make the world a better place. The first step in changing something is to understand it better.

We recommend that you use the ‘Introduction to Solid Waste’ activity before any of the other activities as it is a good starting point for students to learn about waste and provides a comprehensive overview of how waste is generated and its impacts on animals, the environment and us. If you have already done so and wish to continue to download the rest of this free activity please click on the download icon below. Enjoy!

  • Understand the system of how soft drink packaging is made and the impact it has on waste
  • Learn the different steps in producing, distributing, disposing of and recycling a can, glass bottle and plastic (PET) bottle
  • Understand the impact the three packaging types have on waste
  • Learn to think about the entire life cycle of a product by thinking about the system

Whole class

  • Handouts of different systems (A3 printouts)
  • Teacher’s cheat sheet (A4 printout)
  • Pencils, erasers & pens

1-2 class periods
(approximately 60-75 minutes)

Skills used:

Critical thinking




Print/photocopy the system handouts (in A3) for the student groups.
Each group of 3-5 students gets one handout.
Print the ‘teacher’s cheat sheet’ (in A4).
Draw the system of a paper notebook on the blackboard before the class starts.


1 Systems introduction (10-15 minutes):

  • Using the example of a paper notebook, introduce the concept of a system and its map to students using the example you have drawn on the blackboard.
  • Focus on the different stages in the system: extraction of natural resources, the manufacturing process, the total transport involved, the pollution produced, the use of products and disposal methods.
  • Discuss the energy that goes into making a paper notebook and the waste that is created. Stress that reducing, reusing and recycling are very important because they decrease pollution and waste.

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Lesson plan (English)
Teacher Cheat Sheet (English)
Students handout (English)
Lesson plan (Tamil)
Teacher Cheat Sheet (Tamil)
Students handout (Tamil)