Warm Up

Helpful Words and Phrases

Listen and repeat.

  1. a landfill
    • ex. Plastic should be recycled instead of thrown into a landfill.
    • ex. Fruits and vegetables can decompose while plastic bags can’t.
    • ex. Pollution is a disaster for the environment.
    • ex. Please reuse plastic containers to extend their life. Don’t throw them away after using them once.
    • ex. These plastic bottles are recyclable. Don’t throw them in the trash can.


Read the article below and answer your tutor's questions.

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The sport tennis is facing a problem. Tennis balls are extremely hard to recycle. And eco-friendly alternatives are not available. So, nearly all of the 330 million tennis balls produced each year end up in landfills. The balls can take more than 400 years to decompose. And this can become a disaster for the environment.

Experts say that garbage from tennis balls is just a small percentage compared to other trash produced every year. But still, this issue worries ball makers, recyclers, as well as tennis organizations. That’s why a lot of groups are finding ways to extend the life of tennis balls. Some recyclers are using old balls to make dog toys.

However, some experts doubt that this action is enough to address the problem. They said a more important issue is the lack of recyclable tennis balls. The International Tennis Federation is hoping to solve this problem. So, it launched a group that is looking for a way to design a fully recyclable ball. One expert also suggested that old tennis balls could be used in waste-to-energy plants that burn garbage to generate electricity.

This material was based on an article by The Associated Press.


Choose a topic and discuss the questions with your tutor.


  • Do you think it’s necessary to recycle trash? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • The garbage from tennis balls is just a small percentage compared to other trash. Why do you think ball makers and tennis organizations are worried? Discuss.
  • Do you buy products made of recycled materials? Why or why not? Discuss.

Garbage in Landfills

  • How close are you to the nearest landfill? Discuss.
  • What do you think should not be thrown into landfills (ex. plastic bags)? Why? Discuss.
  • In your opinion, does your government manage garbage well? Why or why not? Discuss.