50 Latest Environment IELTS Topics

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Environment essay questions for IELTS

Here you can find common IELTS essay questions for "Environment" topic.

Climate change is a big environmental problem that has become critical in last couple of decades. Some people claim that humans should stop burning fossil fuels and use only alternative energy resources, such as wind and solar power. Others say that oil, gas and coal are essential for many industries, and not using them will lead to economic collapse.

What is your opinion?

Support your point of view with relevant examples.

Influence of human beings on the world's ecosystem is leading to the extinction of species and loss of bio-diversity.

What are the primary causes of loss of bio-diversity?

What solutions can you suggest?

The planet's population is reaching unsustainable levels, and people are facing shortage of resources like water, food and fuel.

To what consequences may overpopulation lead?

In your opinion, what measures can be taken to fight overpopulation?

Production of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases has a heating effect on the atmosphere and results in global warming.

Why global warming is considered one of the most serious issues nowadays?

How can this problem be solved?

Forests produce fresh oxygen and participate in regulating climate. But every year tree cover of our planet is lessening due to deforestation.

What are the primary causes of deforestation?

To what results may it lead?

Pollution of air, water and soil has become critical in last years and it takes millions of years to recoup.

What are the main causes of pollution?

How can we tackle this problem individually and globally?

Nowadays genetically modified food is widespread all over the world. While proponents of GM crops ensure that these foods are safe for human consumption and help to increase food supplies, others argue that their effects on health have not been studied long enough.

Describe pros and cons of genetically modified foods.

Water pollution has been an increasing problem over the last few decades.

What causes water pollution?

How can we prevent this problem?

The air we breathe has a major impact on our health and the environment. However, the air pollution is constantly growing and at current levels it can be fought only globally. That is to say, individual efforts to improve air quality will not give any results, and it's solely responsibility of our governments to reduce air pollution.

Do you agree or disagree?

Atomic energy is becoming more and more popular energy source. However, some people argue that nuclear power puts life on the Earth to danger.

IELTS Charlie

Your Guide to IELTS Band 7

IELTS Model Essay: Plastic

This IELTS Writing Task 2 sample essay is a problems-solutions essay on the topic of plastic pollution from  Cambridge IELTS 16 . This lesson in includes my essay plan, my example essay, a vocabulary list and a fill-in-the-blanks activity. So let’s get started!

Here is the task:

Plastic bags, plastic bottles and plastic packaging are bad for the environment. What damage does plastic do to the environment? What can be done by governments and individuals to solve this problem?

Cambridge General Training 16 (Test 1)

This is a topic that has been on the news a lot over the last few years, especially since Sir David Attenborough’s BBC documentary, BBC Planet II .

If you’re struggling to generate ideas for this essay topic, read Greenpeace’s page about plastic pollution .

What Damage? (Problem)

Plastic in water supply

  • When plastic degrades, tiny particles get washed into water supply. These are toxic, so can cause disease, e.g. cancer

Animals try to eat plastic

  • Animals mistake them for food. Causes problems
  • Some animals may choke on plastic bags and die

Make plastic packaging more expensive.

  • Extra cost of plastic will encourage people to re-use plastic or avoid it altogether
  • Supermarkets can charge for using plastic bags, so people will bring own bags.

Improve water supply

  • Many people buy drinking water in plastic bottles because local water supply is poor (bacteria, heavy metals, e.g. Thailand, Turkey)

Here is my visual plan for this essay. Click on the image to view it full-size.

Plastics Essay Plan

Get Your Own IELTS Essay Planning Templates

Plastic use has increased dramatically over the last 50 years, replacing more traditional packaging such as glass bottles, tins and paper bags. Unfortunately, this has also resulted in a huge amount of plastic being discarded, and this has caused a number of environmental problems.

One of the main problems – one that has only recently been discovered – is that when plastic degrades, it releases tiny particles which eventually get washed into the water supply. These particles can be toxic if ingested in large enough quantities, and may even be carcinogenic. Another problem is that animals may mistake plastic items for food. For example, seagulls often mistake plastic bags for jellyfish, and try to eat them, causing them to choke and die. Many larger aquatic animals have been found washed up on beaches with their digestive systems full of plastic material.

So what can be done about this? One of the obvious solutions is to make plastic packaging more expensive in order to encourage people to re-use plastic or avoid it altogether. Supermarkets in many countries have started to charge consumers for plastic bags and this has proved to be successful, with many people bringing their own reusable shopping bags. Another solution might be to improve local water supply. In many developing countries, tap water cannot be drunk because it contains bacteria or heavy metals, so people instead buy bottled water. However, this creates a colossal amount of plastic waste since these bottles are single-use. Helping countries like Thailand or Turkey modernise their domestic water supply infrastructure would therefore lead to a large reduction in the use of plastic bottles.

To summarise, plastic packaging has harmful effects both on drinking water and for animals, but making it more expensive and improving access to drinkable water in the developing world can go a long way to reducing these problems.

(308 words)

Plastic Pollution in the Ocean

Here is some of the language in my essay that would ensure a high band score. Note that most of this language are phrases and collocations , not single words. Examiners are looking at your ability to use “lexical items” (i.e. groups of words) at Band 7 and above.

  • glass bottles, tins and paper bags
  • a huge amount of plastic being discarded
  • a number of environmental problems
  • has only recently been discovered
  • plastic degrades
  • releases tiny particles
  • washed into the water supply
  • carcinogenic
  • mistake…for
  • aquatic animals
  • washed up on beaches
  • re-use plastic
  • reusable shopping bags
  • local water supply
  • heavy metals
  • colossal amount of
  • domestic water supply infrastructure

Can you re-create my essay? Without looking at the essay again, fill in the missing spaces with the correct words from my essay above. Good luck! (The activity works best on a desktop, laptop or tablet computer).

Paragraph 1

Paragraph 2

Paragraph 3

Paragraph 4

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ielts essay topics on pollution

About the author

Charlie is a former IELTS Examiner with 25 years' teaching experience all over the world. His courses, for both English language learners and teachers, have been taken by over 100,000 students in over 160 countries around the world.

3 thoughts on “IELTS Model Essay: Plastic”

You are a brilliant teacher 😊

Thank you, Jashan!

Thank you, very useful.

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IELTS Sample Writing: International Pollution Issues

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IELTS Essay, topic: Environmental problems

  • IELTS Essays - Band 7

Nowadays environmental problems are too big to be managed by individual persons or individual countries. In other words, it is an international problem. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

ielts essay topics on pollution

Lately, many presentations, conferences and international summits are held to deal with waste treatment, recycling, and soil and water contamination. joint efforts and consolidation can only help in the mutual war the ongoing environmental disaster. For instance, governments should offer support to companies and organizations, involved in manufacturing, industry or agriculture in order to find environment-friendly approaches. These could be special law regulations, recycling programs, helping courses in order to implement ISO certificates and many more.

However, the influence of individuals over environment should not be ignored. If we do not that our planet is our home, we will never be able to take care of it. We have to contribute every day to the preservation of nature and environment. For example, always remember to save energy by switching off lamps, computers and everything that we do not use. Our next obligation is to separate waste and throw bulk only in the designated areas. Driving vehicles can also be environment friendly. For example, we have to avoid accelerating the engines too rapidly or using the air conditioning in the country, where it would be better to save energy and simply open the windows.

To sum up, environmental problems should be handled by local and international authorities as well as individuals. Every single person should take care of the environment, moreover we have to bring up our children to be conscious citizens of a clean and preserved planet.

This is a very good essay, a Band 7+ candidate. The structure of this essay and sentences is correct as well as the spelling and punctuation. Good job!

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IELTS SPEAKING

IELTS TOPIC: A Place That Had Air Pollution

03/28/2023 03:27 PM

Things to consider:

  • It can be difficult or easy to define "air pollution" , depending on where to live. For example, I haven't experienced any heavy air pollution in my life, at all. But I have seen it on TV and in articles. I've probably had it in my city but I didn't pay attention . So you need to talk about reasons why cities can have air pollution . It becomes clear after that.
  • You can make up a story by stating things like:
  • I once visited a town/city...(where/when/what?)
  • At first, It looked... (positive)
  • After a while, I realized that... (pollution)
  • The reason why it was polluted was... (reason 1, reason 2)
  • At that time I felt... (feeling 1, feeling 2)
  • Eventually, I thought...
  • Focus on your feelings about air pollution. You can talk in general. For instance:
  • I felt worried and afraid...
  • I felt disappointed about...
  • I felt a little angry about...
  • I felt neutral, without any specific feelings because...
  • I felt something was off, but I didn't react in any way because...

ielts essay topics on pollution

Part 2: Sample Answer

Although air pollution has been a big discussion in my lifetime , I have to admit that I haven’t seen so much of it, or at least I’m not sure I’ve seen it. Perhaps the reason is that I can’t recognize if a place has polluted air . I’m definitely sure what clean air is, as I’ve been in the countryside and I know the difference in the “ taste ” of the air over there. However, that’s a characteristic of the mountains and the countryside . Can we say that everything except mountain-fresh air is polluted? Probably, especially in the cities.

I talk about the meaning of polluted air in conection to my life.

I’ve definitely seen smog and heavily contaminated air once or twice. Even in the city I live in, we are not safe from this phenomenon . I live in a seaside city that is quite small and compact . On the outskirts of the city, there is a big industrial free-trade zone with many factories and large facilities . Now there is a reason why that zone is far outside of the city – and that is to protect the citizen from pollution. Well, every now or then, the wind will blow in direction of the city and that pollution will land directly at us.

I introduce the place (my city) and the reason for the pollution.

I remember 2 or 3 times last year when the air in the city was heavy , yellowish and it felt contaminated . But even then, I was not sure if that was something I am supposed to stay protected from , or if I should just take it . You see, the problem is that those of us who live in the city, are used to this air. We lived at times when all cars were gasoline or diesel . We simply walked around, breathing all this air without any regret or consideration .

I describe a problem of knowing what "polluted" means.

If I think about it for more than a minute, of course, I agree that we deserve better . I mean there are places covered in smog all year round and that’s awful . I’ve heard about the negative consequences of all this pollution – carcinogens building up in our bodies over time. Don’t forget that the food we eat absorbs all this pollution too. All of this leads to an increase in cancers and other diseases . Well… I hope we make our living environment safer… at least for the next generations .

I finish with my feelings about the topic and air pollution.

Idioms and Phrases

Sentence starters and linking words, vocabulary related to the topic, business phrases, part 3 questions.

In Part 3 we continue to talk about air pollution  and further discuss the effect of this pollution on our society. We then move on to talk about solutions to fight this problem.

ielts essay topics on pollution

Examiner:   I s there more pollution now than in the past?

A case for yes.

  • We all know about climate change and the pollution development and industrialization have brought. Many countries, while trying to grow and progress , disrespect their environment for economic growth . This means that, yes, there is much more pollution now than 30, or even 20 years ago.  

A Case for No

  • At the same time , many countries have realized that pollution has become a danger to their citizen's life , and have begun taking measures. There are cities and countries that have achieved a lot of progress in fighting pollution and may have actually improved their environment's condition compared to 10 or 20 years ago.

Examiner:   Do you think the city is cleaner or dirtier than the countryside? Why?

Cities and pollution.

  • Of course , the cities are more polluted and dirtier than the country. There are many reasons for that, but probably the main one is the high population and the concentration of industry in the cities. Many people moving to cities means high demand for jobs, products, and services, and making all of those requires a ton of resources and energy to create. That causes pollution.

The Country

  • The countryside is cleaner mainly because there are fewer people , less industry , and less transportation over there. What's more , people in the countryside tend to care more about the environment and their surroundings , while people in cities tend to be a bit more  selfish and care mostly about themselves, carrying on with their lives. 

Examiner:   What can factories and power plants do to reduce pollutants?

  • Plants and factories have to invest in renovation and replacement of their outdated technologies for production. This will help them to reduce the amounts of waste they create dramatically . The problem is quite often that these companies do not invest much or at all in that, and use old, inefficient equipment for many years.

Societal Impact

  • Big corporations and producers have to embrace and accept their moral responsibilities to protect society. This means that they should go above and beyond to improve society and invest further in projects that are environmentally-friendly and green . Sadly , very few of them would do what is morally right , as that means higher costs.

Accept responsibility . No seriously, some of the environmental problems we have in our society stem from this very reason. Companies simply refuse to invest in new equipment or fail to update their equipment frequently enough , and by using old outdated technologies they do more pollution. We have a ton of people lecturing us, individuals , to reduce our carbon footprint , but what about those who create the products themselves? Are we supposed to stop buying just so we can force companies to change? That is an ineffective strategy and it’s a waste of time . Companies need to take responsibility and update their machines regularly, or in other words invest in their own business, not the stock market .

Examiner:   Do you think the wind has any effect on pollution? How?

  • The wind blowing can bring in a lot of air pollution from other areas of a country or even from another country. A lot of cities move out their manufacturing and industry outside of the larger cities, but then once the wind blows, it brings back all that pollution right back into the cities.
  • In areas that have a dry climate , are near a desert , or are being desertified because of logging or other natural reasons , the wind can blow and bring up a lot of dust and sand particles . If the wind is powerful enough, it can carry those particles many kilometers away and cause sand or dust pollution in cities or other areas.

Well, the wind can blow pollution into the cities, even if those cities have removed heavy manufacturing away. I’ve seen this in a few examples around the world but I believe this is what happens regularly in Beijing. The capital of China has been trying to reduce pollution, but often, especially in the winter when it’s coal-burning season , the wind brings all the heavy smog back to town. Another type of air pollution is actually sand and dust which comes from dry areas or deserts , and that can be brought by the wind across large distances as well .

Examiner:  Do you think many companies have been forced to reduce pollutants?

Not exactly....

  • To a large extent , many companies have been left to do as they please, because they add too much economic growth , and so governments and politicians have stayed away from heavy punishments and scrutiny . Many companies have received tiny , minor fines that do not force them to change their ways.
  • While so far the government hasn't pushed for much regulation , there is increasing public anger towards companies and pollution, and that created the occasional higher push for justice . Perhaps we will see high fines and tough regulations in the near future if we want to restore our planet back to normal.

Some of them have been working on this problem, and some have done close to nothing about it. The reality is that a small number of companies with a large market share are responsible for the largest amount of pollution, be it plastic pollution , air pollution , or water pollution . Many of these large corporations put profits and money above dignity and the environment . Some governments around the world have become increasingly aware of the problem, but unfortunately , they act too slowly and do not punish those companies enough to make them change their attitudes . I hope that in the near future , people start taking this problem seriously .

Examiner:   What can be done by an individual to reduce air pollution?

As an ordinary person.

  • For a single person, it can be very difficult to impact the environment alone, but we can take some steps to reduce our carbon footprint . We can drive less, we can cycle more, we can buy less plastic , and opt out of food delivery . We can make better choices when buying clothes and generally shop less online. There are a lot of actions we could take.

As Someone with Power

  • People in positions of power are better suited to affect society in one way or another. In terms of air pollution, they can try to run for government , invest money in renewable energy , or even start a green business that can improve society in some way. 

It is very difficult for one person to impact the whole planet, but let’s assume that it is possible. As an ordinary citizen , this person should find ways to reduce his carbon footprint . The person can replace his fossil fuel car with an electric vehicle at first. Then he can make better choices when buying clothes, purchasing l onger-term items rather than fast fashion pieces which are a high polluter in the world. The person should buy less plastic and avoid ordering takeaway as much as possible. Now, if the person is in a position of power , he is much better suited to impact society for the better. He should invest in green technologies and support environmentally-friendly political decisions .

Water pollution (Corrected Essay)

Water pollution (Corrected Essay)

Pollution of rivers, lakes and seas is a major concern for people who seek to protect the environment. Pollution of rivers, lakes and seas is a major concern for people who seek to protect the environment. What are the possible causes of water pollution, and what effects does this have on animal life and human society?

Topic: Pollution of rivers, lakes and seas is a major concern for people who seek to protect the environment.

What are the possible causes of water pollution, and what effects does this have on animal life and human society?

Sample answer:

An essential element of the ecosystem is water. Water pollution occurs when harmful chemicals or microorganisms are released into water bodies, which results in the degradation of animal and human’s life quality.

The most common cause of water pollution is the direct disposal of industrial and human waste into the surface water. Another reason worth mentioning is the oil spill.Since the dawn of industrialization, numerous factories have been discharging toxic chemical compounds such as metallic sulfides or cyanides. When being introduced into lakes, rivers, and seas, these toxic wastes poison freshwater or saltwater animals and plants, subsequently destroy the ecosystem. Even when the industrial waste is buried in the ground, they can still permeate the soil to pollute the underground water, thus begin the process again.

Another cause of water pollution is human waste. Various kinds of pathogenic bacteria live in human feces, and they may cause gastrointestinal infection if they appear in the water supply. Oil spills are also the reason for sea pollution. Most of the marine animals cannot digest oil, or cleanse the spilling oil on their feathers. Therefore, they will die soon unless there are human interventions. The spill also adversely affect seawater, which damages the tourist industry of coastal regions.

To summarize, water pollution is mostly the result of oil spills and industrial or human waste disposal. It severely affects the environment and subsequently the life of animals and human.

(275 words)

Corrected essay

An important feature in a cause-effect essay is the lack of the author’s opinion . The causes and the effects of a phenomenon are completely facts - they are not subjected to your perspective. Therefore, completely avoid using “I” or “from my opinion” in this type of essay.

The author has successfully written the introduction. He starts the essay with a “hook” sentence (highlighting the relevance of the topic question - water is important, so we must care about water pollution). He also provides an explanation of water pollution, as well as its effects.

The most common cause of water pollution is the direct disposal of industrial into the surface water. Since the dawn of industrialization, numerous factories have been discharging toxic chemical compounds such as metallic sulfides or cyanides. When being introduced into lakes, rivers, and seas, these toxic wastes poison animals and plants, subsequently destroy the ecosystem. Even when the industrial waste is buried in the ground, they can still permeate the soil to pollute the underground water, thus begin the process again.

Many grammatical structures are presented in the above paragraph.

The author uses the present perfect continous tense to talk about an ongoing trend.

The first sentence in this paragraph is a simple sentence. The second and the third are complex sentences. The last is a compound-complex one. Mixing up various sentence types will give you good mark in Grammatical Range & Accuracy.

The author has used some connectives: “when”, subsequently”, “even”, “thus”. Using cohesive devices without gaining unwanted attraction will raise your band score in Coherence and Cohesion.

Another cause of water pollution is human waste. Various species of pathogenic bacteria live in human feces, and they will cause gastrointestinal infection if they appear in the water supply. Saltwater fishes may die because of the depletion of oxygen levels in seawater caused by ocean dumping.

This body paragraph is kinda underdeveloped. There is only 3 sentences, and the last sentence does not really connect to the idea of “human waste harms the environment”. The author should write more here, since his essay only has 252 words (barely pass the requirement)

Still, there are some interesting vocab: pathogenic bacteria, gastrointestinal infection, water supply, the depletion of oxygen levels, ocean dumping.

The oil spill, a disaster happens if crude oil is leaked from a petroleum tanker, is also a reason of sea pollution. Most of the marine animals cannot digest oil, or cleanse the spilling oil on their feathers. Therefore, they will die soon unless there are human interventions. The spill also adversely affect seawater, which damages the tourist industry of coastal regions.

Throughout three paragraphs, the author has provided the effect of water pollution on both animal and human life.

Words like “petroleum tanker”, “marine animal”, and “human intervention” are advance enough for the IELTS exam. You don’t have to use words that are too rare or archaic.

Always try to shorten a clause into a phrasal noun. If the author had written like this: “ Therefore, they will die soon unless the government intervenes in oil spills ”, then his writing would have been less concise.

A short but adequate conclusion. Don’t spend too much time to write the introduction and/or the conclusion.

Overall: 9.0

Task Response: 8

✓ sufficiently addresses all parts of the task (the author uses an appropriate writing style for this essay, but he needs to write slightly more). ✓ presents a well-developed response to the question with relevant, extended and supported ideas

Coherence and Cohesion: 9

✓ uses cohesion in such a way that it attracts no attention ✓ skilfully manages paragraphing (the author follows the standard format of a 5-paragraphs essay, with ideas are coherently presented)

Lexical Resource: 9

✓ uses a wide range of vocabulary with very natural and sophisticated control of lexical features; rare minor errors occur only as ‘slips’

Grammatical Range and Accuracy: 9

✓ uses a wide range of structures with full flexibility and accuracy; rare minor errors occur only as ‘slips’ (there is no grammatical errors)

----------------------------------------------------------

This essay is corrected by Anh Tran - Let's Write Something Group .

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Ielts essay # 1321 - water pollution has become an increasing problem, ielts writing task 2/ ielts essay:, water pollution has become an increasing problem over the past few decades., what causes water pollution how can we prevent this problem.

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IELTS Essay Topic Pollution

Sample Model Answers for IELTS Essay Topic Pollution. Practice from these ielts essay on topic Pollution. IELTS Pollution Essays.

Air Travel should be restricted because it causes pollution IELTS Essay

Air Travel should be Restricted IELTS Agree/Disagree Essay

Some people believe that air travel should be restricted because it causes serious pollution and uses up the world’s fuel resources. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

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100 IELTS Essay Questions

Below are practice IELTS essay questions and topics for writing task 2. The 100 essay questions have been used many times over the years. The questions are organised under common topics and essay types. IELTS often use the similar topics for their essays but change the wording of the essay question.

In order to prepare well for writing task 2, you should prepare ideas for common topics and then practise applying them to the tasks given (to the essay questions). Also see model essays and tips  for writing task 2.

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1) Common IELTS Essay Questions

IELTS practice essay questions divided by topic. These topics have been reported by IELTS students in their tests. Essay questions have been recreated as accurately as possible.

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There are 5 main types of essay questions in IELTS writing task 2 (opinion essays, discussion essay, advantage/disadvantage essays, solution essay and direct question essays). Click on the links below to see some sample essay questions for each type.

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IELTS speaking vocabulary about the environment and pollution

Home  »  IELTS speaking  » IELTS speaking vocabulary about the environment and pollution

You may be asked questions about the environment and pollution. Read the following IELTS style questions and answers below and pay attention to the words or phrases in bold.

Use the ‘definitions’ section at the bottom of the page to check any meanings you are unfamiliar with.

Make a note of any new vocabulary and the best way to learn it is to use it!

IELTS speaking part 1 style questions

Examiner: Has there been an increase in pollution where you live?

Georgio: Yes, there has been a dramatic increase in recent years as many of the most productive factories are built on the outskirts of large towns and some are even in quite central areas so very near where people live. Air pollution, as a result of factory emissions and toxic fumes has become a real problem.

Examiner: How has this pollution had an impact on daily life, do you think?

Helena: I think there are two key areas which have been most affected – firstly, our health, as air pollution is terrible in the city centre because too many workers commute and rely heavily on their cars rather than travelling by public transport and there are many traffic jams . Secondly, on the quality of crops and in rural areas, where the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers in farming has contributed to a dangerous amount of pollutants in foods.

Examiner: Are residents in your town good at recycling? 

Sara: Sadly, in my opinion, not nearly good enough. I know in many European countries, the mantra of reuse and recycle plastics and cardboards has become automatic but here there is still a culture of throwing everything away and most domestic as well as industrial waste is incinerated . Obviously, this policy just contributes to worsening air pollution and to plastic being thrown into the sea.

IELTS speaking part 2 style question

Describe a time when you have caused pollution,

You should say:

  • When this was
  • What it was
  • Where it was

And the impact which you think this might have caused.

Zoe: I would like to describe a moment when I was on holiday a few years ago in a really beautiful part of India on holiday with a group of friends. We had been travelling around India for a month and I think I had adjusted to seeing a huge amount of waste on the streets. Not surprisingly, there were very limited facilities for recycling – this is not really part of the culture and it would require a huge investment to put in place the equipment and education programme needed.

We were travelling on a train and had been sleeping as it was a very long journey and early the next morning when we pulled into the station, everyone leaned out of the window and purchased bottles of water, cups of tea and hot food from excited street sellers on the platforms.

I was happy to join in with the locals and without even thinking drank my water then threw the bottle back out of the window which is something I would never have done back home. It wasn’t until later that I understood the consequences of this action.

After winding through the countryside for hours, the train finally reached the coast. I was stunned – rather than a beautiful, clear blue stretch of ocean, all I could see was plastic waste – bottles, bags, food packaging as well as larger items of industrial items were just floating, interspersed with a few seabirds who looked utterly confused and were not really able to swim.

I could clearly see the impact of my careless action on the train and the problem of plastics in the ocean became horribly evident. With no other way of disposing of rubbish, the temptation, indeed, the default had become to simply throw bottles and bags on the ground or into the sea, river or lake and so much of this has ended up in the ocean. Since then I have been rigorous about waste and campaigned to make sure my local town has widely available recycling bins for all.

IELTS speaking part 3 style questions

Examiner: What should be done about plastic in the ocean?

Emanuel: While quite a lot has been done already to highlight this terrible problem, I think more could be done to make sure the public know the dangers. Apparently around 350 million tonnes of plastic are being produced each year and around 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean every year.

If waste management practices don't improve, scientists predict this amount could increase tenfold by 2025. What happens is that while paper will eventually disintegrate , plastic does not do this and so when it does eventually break up, it still leaves smaller fragments called microplastics, which have been identified in commercial fish consumed by humans.

Examiner: What might some solutions be to reduce this situation?

Alexi: I think many manufactures should work really hard to reduce the use of what is called single-use applications , plastics which are used just once and then disposed of as this makes up approximately half of all plastics. Plastic can quite easily be recycled and used again for shampoo bottles for example. Some large companies have already started only using recycled plastics for their own- brand products and this kind of policy should be rolled out as widely as possible.

Examiner: What would you say to children who are faced with this problem for the future?

Benji: I would try to encourage teachers and parents to explain the situation to youngsters but also to try and be positive about what can be done. Firstly, we all need to be much more careful about recycling which is not impossible and should start at school as well as in the home.

There have been many incredible documentaries informing us all about the global plastic problem and awareness is a very important stage in beginning to stop the problem. I am not sure what is being done at the moment to remove this mass of plastic but we must make sure we do not make this worse, and we protect our planet as well as the wildlife and birds and we should protect the next generation who will also have to try to find solutions.

Word list and definitions

  • outskirts of large towns: areas outside the city centre, suburbs or industrial district
  • factory emissions:  smoke and pollution from factories
  • toxic fumes: smoke which is poisonous
  • traffic jams: large queues of cars not moving
  • pollutants in foods: dangerous chemicals
  • pesticides: chemicals to keep bugs and animals away from plants
  • chemical fertilizers: chemicals added to make soil stronger
  • commute to work: drive or travel to work every day
  • Mantra:  frequently repeated statement
  • reuse and recycle: use products again or find another purpose for them
  • industrial waste is incinerated: waste which is burnt
  • facilities for recycling: places where you can dispose of plastic / cardboard
  • education programme: teaching and learning in school or elsewhere
  • consequences: the outcomes
  • interspersed with (birds): mingled with, mixed with
  • campaign: high profile policy for the public
  • scientists predict: ideas for the future
  • disintegrate: break down into small particles
  • microplastics: very tiny pieces
  • single-use applications: use once then throw out
  • own- brand products: unique to the shop or supermarket
  • policy should be rolled out: implemented all over the country
  • documentaries: factual TV programmes

More  IELTS vocabulary  tutorials to help you prepare for your  IELTS exam :

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  • Vocabulary about fashion and shopping
  • Vocabulary about advertising
  • Vocabulary about social media
  • Vocabulary about food and nutrition
  • Vocabulary about family and friends
  • Vocabulary about sport
  • Vocabulary about the coronavirus

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    This IELTS Writing Task 2 sample essay is a problems-solutions essay on the topic of plastic pollution from Cambridge IELTS 16. This lesson in includes my essay plan, my example essay, a vocabulary list and a fill-in-the-blanks activity. So let's get started! Here is the task: Plastic bags, plastic bottles and plastic…

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