Has recycling rate of plastic bottles increased or decreased?

Grade level:  4th – 5th grades

Skills:  Subtract Decimals

Related environmental issues: Recycle

Area level: National

The table below shows recycling rate of plastic bottles in the United States between 2008 and 2013.  Recycling rate represents what percentage of discarded plastic bottles were recycled.

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1.What percentage did recycling rate of plastic bottles change between 2008 and 2009?

2.Between which years did recycling rate of plastic bottles change the least?

3.Between which years did recycling rate of plastic bottles change the most?

4.Had recycling rate of plastic bottles increased or decreased since 2008?

Source: U.S. EPA, Municipal Solid Waste Generation, Recycling, and Disposal in the United States: Facts and Figures

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Answer keys

  1. 0.8% (28.0-27.2 = 0.8)
  2. between 2010 and 2011
  3. between 2011 and 2012
  4. increased