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Age Range: 7-11
Duration: 60 or more mins
  • D & T

How to make recycled paper

Using scrap paper to make recycled paper

In this activity, learners will use the theme of National Earth Day to make recycled paper from existing pieces of scrap paper.

This activity could be used as a main lesson to teach about processes associated with and the benefits of recycling paper and other materials. It could also be used as part of a wider scheme of learning focussing on sustainability and the environment, where learners discuss the benefits and importance of recycling and reusing materials.

What you will need

  • Scrap paper cut into strips
  • Blender
  • Sieve
  • Washing-up bowl
  • Tea towels.

How long will this activity take?

This activity will take approximately 90-120 minutes to complete (plus soaking and drying time). Download the activity sheet below for a complete lesson plan and teachers’ notes.


• Step 1 - Cut or rip up scrap paper into small pieces.
• Step 2 - Put the strips into the bowl. Cover with warm water. Soak overnight.
• Step 3 - Put mixture into the blender. Half fill the jug with water. Make the pulp.
• Step 4 - Put the pulp into the washing-up bowl. Mix with your hand.
• Step 5 - Put the sieve into the bowl. Allow the pulp to settle over it. Gently lift it with a layer of pulp covering it. Allow water to drain.
• Step 6 - Put the paper on top of a tea towel. Place another towel on top and pat the pulp to soak up excess water. Peel the tea towel off slowly.
• Step 7 – Carefully remove the paper from the sieve.
• Step 8 - Flip over onto another tea towel. Cover with another tea towel and dry.
• Step 9 - Peel the tea towels off slowly.

The engineering context

Designers hold an ethical obligation to guarantee that the products they create do not cause harm to the environment. They should prioritise the use of recycled or recyclable materials whenever feasible. As an illustration, when designing food packaging, paper waste could be collected, cleaned, pulped, and repurposed to craft fresh paper.

Suggested learning outcomes

By the end of this activity, students will be able to make recycled paper using scrap paper, they will be able to understand the process for making recycled paper, and they will understand the benefits of recycling materials.

Download the free activity sheet below!

All activity sheets and supporting resources are free to download, and all the documents are fully editable so that you can tailor them to your students and your schools’ needs.

The activity sheet includes teacher notes, guidance, helpful web links, and links (where appropriate) to the national curriculum in the four devolved UK nations; England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

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