Dry Lab Activity

Unit A - Chapter 3

Investigating Science 9

Problem-Solving Activity

Recycling Paper

Skills Reference 3

Skills you Will Use

  • Prioritizing and selecting solutions
  • Designing, building, and testing


  • Goggles
  • Apron


In this lab you will be dealing with a messy mixture of paper and water.

Use goggles to protect your eyes and an apron to protect your clothes.

Recognize a Need

Paper recycling is an important part of any recycling program. However, different paper presents challenges to the recycling process. Also, certain types of paper, when recycled, may have limited use.

Another problem with recycled paper such as newsprint is that much of it must be de-inked before it can be re-used for print purposes. In this activity, you will work through the process of newspaper recycling and evaluate the end product.


How can newspaper be recycled?

Materials and Equipment

  • newspaper
  • eggbeater (a electric mixer may be substituted - if so, handle with care)
  • plastic wrap
  • microscope and microscope slide with cover slip
  • square pan and mixing bowl
  • water
  • screen that fits in the bottom of the square pan

Criteria for Success

  • Your paper recycling process should produce useable recycled paper.

Dry Lab

A "dry lab" activity includes collected data and/or a video solution for your convenience. You can simply watch the following video and use the provided data, or if you wish to perform this lab for yourself, follow the procedure steps 1 through 7 described in the video. The same steps are included in written form in the documents available for download on the bottom of this page.


  1. Look over the pulp carefully once it dries completely. Record your observations.
  2. How well did your paper recycling work? Comment on the end product and speculate what your recycled paper might be used for.
  3. Are there any limitations to the re-use of the recycled paper you produced? One challenge to recycling paper is removing ink to make the end product more aesthetically pleasing. The problem is, that processes for de-inking add cost to the recycling process and may be harmful to the environment. Comment on overcoming this problem, if indeed it is a problem.