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This is an IELTS writing task 1 sample answer essay on the topic of the process of recycling plastic bottles from IELTS Cambridge 16.

You can find the other essays from Cambridge 16 here.

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IELTS Cambridge 16 Essay: Recycling Plastic Bottles

The diagram below shows the process for recycling plastic bottles.

Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

ielts cambridge 16 recycling plastic bottles
IELTS Cambridge 16: Recycling Plastic Bottles

The diagram detailed above delineates how plastic bottles are recycled. Looking from an overall perspective, it is readily apparent that this circular process is comprised of 3 main stages including initial collection and sorting, followed by processing and cleaning, and finally reconstitution into a novel material for further usage.

Recycling commences when an individual places their rubbish in a designated recycling bin, prior to being loaded into specialized garbage trucks. After transportation to the recycling center, the plastic bottles are sorted by hand, compressed tightly to form blocks and then crushed into small pieces and washed.

The next stages involve transformation into a reusable material. The pieces of plastic are first poured into a machine that turns them into pellets. These pellets are then heated in order to create a raw material that can be used in the manufacture of products ranging from clothes and bottles to containers and pencils. These items are themselves recyclable and the process begins again.

Analysis

1. The diagram detailed above delineates how plastic bottles are recycled. 2. Looking from an overall perspective, it is readily apparent that this circular process is comprised of 3 main stages including initial collection and sorting, followed by processing and cleaning, and finally reconstitution into a novel material for further usage.

  1. Paraphrase what the process shows.
  2. Write a clear overview summarising the major groups. Read here about overviews for processes.

1. Recycling commences when an individual places their rubbish in a designated recycling bin, prior to being loaded into specialized garbage trucks. 2. After transportation to the recycling center, the plastic bottles are sorted by hand, compressed tightly to form blocks and then crushed into small pieces and washed.

  1. Begin writing about the details of the process.
  2. This one is tricky to get up to the word count (no longer required on IELTS) so try to make it a little wordy.

1. The next stages involve transformation into a reusable material. 2. The pieces of plastic are first poured into a machine that turns them into pellets. 3. These pellets are then heated in order to create a raw material that can be used in the manufacture of products ranging from clothes and bottles to containers and pencils. 4. These items are themselves recyclable and the process begins again.

  1. Write about the rest of the process – include everything!
  2. Try to paraphrase some of the words from process as well.
  3. Continue with the next steps.
  4. Be sure to mention that this process begins again!

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean? Take some notes on a piece of paper to aid your memory:

The diagram detailed above delineates how plastic bottles are recycled. Looking from an overall perspective, it is readily apparent that this circular process is comprised of 3 main stages including initial collection and sorting, followed by processing and cleaning, and finally reconstitution into a novel material for further usage.

Recycling commences when an individual places their rubbish in a designated recycling bin, prior to being loaded into specialized garbage trucks. After transportation to the recycling center, the plastic bottles are sorted by hand, compressed tightly to form blocks and then crushed into small pieces and washed.

The next stages involve transformation into a reusable material. The pieces of plastic are first poured into a machine that turns them into pellets. These pellets are then heated in order to create a raw material that can be used in the manufacture of products ranging from clothes and bottles to containers and pencils. These items are themselves recyclable and the process begins again.

Answers

Try to write down or think of an antonym/opposite word for further practice:

diagram detailed above process described

delineates shows

recycled used again, reused

Looking from an overall perspective, it is readily apparent that overall

circular process loop, starts again, feeds back into itself

comprised of including

including entailing

initial collection first finding

sorting putting into groups

followed by after that

processing being made

cleaning making clean

reconstitution remade as something new

novel material new substance

further usage used again

commences begins with

individual person

places puts

rubbish trash

designated recycling bin container for recycling

prior to before

loaded into specialized garbage trucks put in trucks for recycling only

transportation being sent

recycling center place where recycling happens

sorted by hand put into groups by a person

compressed tightly pushed closely together

form blocks made into large cubes

crushed pressed together

washed cleaned

involve concerns

reusable material substance to use again

pieces of plastic small bits of plastic

poured placed into

turns makes into

pellets compressed substance

heated made hot

in order to so that

raw material substance to be used

manufacture fabrication, making

ranging fromand to and … including

items products

recyclable can be recycled

begins again starts all over

Pronunciation

Practice saying the words below using this tip with Google voice dictation:

ˈdaɪəgræm ˈdiːteɪld əˈbʌv 
dɪˈlɪnɪeɪts 
ˌriːˈsaɪkld
ˈlʊkɪŋ frɒm ən ˈəʊvərɔːl pəˈspɛktɪvɪt ɪz ˈrɛdɪli əˈpærənt ðæt 
ˈsɜːkjʊlə ˈprəʊsɛs 
kəmˈpraɪzd ɒv 
ɪnˈkluːdɪŋ 
ɪˈnɪʃəl kəˈlɛkʃən 
ˈsɔːtɪŋ
ˈfɒləʊd baɪ 
ˈprəʊsɛsɪŋ 
ˈkliːnɪŋ
ˌriːˌkɒnstɪˈtjuːʃən 
ˈnɒvəl məˈtɪərɪəl 
ˈfɜːðə ˈjuːzɪʤ
kəˈmɛnsɪz 
ˌɪndɪˈvɪdjʊəl 
ˈpleɪsɪz 
ˈrʌbɪʃ 
ˈdɛzɪgneɪtɪd ˌriːˈsaɪklɪŋ bɪn
ˈpraɪə tuː 
ˈləʊdɪd ˈɪntuː ˈspɛʃəlaɪzd ˈgɑːbɪʤ trʌks
ˌtrænspɔːˈteɪʃən 
ˌriːˈsaɪklɪŋ ˈsɛntə
ˈsɔːtɪd baɪ hænd
kəmˈprɛst ˈtaɪtli 
fɔːm blɒks 
krʌʃt 
wɒʃt
ɪnˈvɒlv 
riːˈjuːzəbl məˈtɪərɪəl
ˈpiːsɪz ɒv ˈplæstɪk 
pɔːd 
tɜːnz 
ˈpɛlɪts
ˈhiːtɪd 
ɪn ˈɔːdə tuː 
rɔː məˈtɪərɪəl 
ˌmænjʊˈfækʧə 
ˈreɪnʤɪŋ frɒm … ænd … tuː … ænd …
ˈaɪtəmz 
ˌriːˈsaɪkləbl 
bɪˈgɪnz əˈgɛn

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

The d________________________e d___________s how plastic bottles are r___________d. L________________________________________________________t this c_____________________s is c________________f 3 main stages i_____________g i______________________n and s_________g, f_________________y p____________g and c__________g, and finally r_________________n into a n_______________l for f______________e.

Recycling c______________s when an i____________l p_______s their r________h in a d_______________________n, p__________o being l_________________________________________s. After t______________n to the r___________________r, the plastic bottles are s__________________d, c_____________________y to f________________s and then c___________d into small pieces and w__________d.

The next stages i___________e transformation into a r__________________l. The p_________________c are first p________d into a machine that t______s them into p__________s. These pellets are then h________d i__________o create a r___________________l that can be used in the m________________e of products r______________m clothes a__d bottles t__ containers a__d pencils. These it_____s are themselves r__________e and the process b_____________n.

Listening Practice

Listen to the related topic below and practice with these activities:

Reading Practice

Read more and use these ideas to practice:

https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2015/12/what-actually-happens-to-a-recycled-plastic-bottle/418326/

Speaking Practice

Practice with the following related questions from the real IELTS speaking exam:

Rubbish/Garbage/Litter

  1. How do you react when you see litter on the streets?
  2. Do you recycle?
  3. How do you help keep the streets tidy?
  4. What would you do if someone else dropped some litter?

Writing Practice

Practice with the related process below and then check with my sample answer:

IELTS Essay: Recycled Bottles into Clothes Process

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