Answers to Plastic Straws Listening Practice

Below you will find the transcript and answers to the listening practice lesson about plastic straws and the environment.

If you haven’t completed this lesson, please do so before reading the transcript and answers. Click here: Straws Listening Practice


I usually offer the transcripts so you can listen and read at the same time. This is a great way to check the answers and also improve your own pronunciation for speaking. I have also highlighted interesting vocabulary below that you can learn from this recording.

TRANSCRIPT: Single use plastic is a particularly nasty form of plastic. These items have a shockingly short life span, normally used once and then discarded to landfill. Like other plastics they never biodegrade and take hundreds of years to break down. Plastic straws are one such single use item and are ending up in our oceans by the thousands. The Marine Conservation Society estimated that the UK uses 8.5 billion straws every year.

Avid scuba diver Kasey Turner was snorkelling after work recently at a popular dive site in Manly Australia. In the area, she found 319 straws on a single 20 minute snorkel. It can be hard to see how using one measly plastic straw is going to cause huge amounts of damage to the environment but let me put it into context for you. Recently a team of scientists in Costa Rica came across an endangered species of sea turtle with what they thought was a parasitic worm blocking its airway. They realised it was actually a plastic straw. Most people just do not realise that the majority of plastic straws are not recycled.

The simplest way you can eradicate straws from your life is to just stop using them at home. It’s as easy as that. Making a connection between our actions and the often devastating outcomes they can have on the environment acts as a catalyst for change.



Answers using no more than two words and/or a number:

    1. Plastic straws have a limited LIFE SPAN owing to their predominantly single usage.
    2. This word can also be written as one word: lifespan
    1. These straws do not BIODEGRADE and can pollute the environment for hundreds of years.
    2. Both options are correct. However, you must choose one only as
    3. You cannot have the answer “break down”. Biodegrade and break down are the same.
  3. 8.5 BILLION
    1. 8.5 BILLION straws are thought to be used annually in the UK.
  4. 319 SNORKEL
    1. Kasey Turner found 319 straws during her 20-minute SNORKEL.
    2. It is not necessary to use punctuation to separate the number and word. However, if you do use punctuation, your answer would still be marked correct.
    3. If you wrote “319 and SNORKEL”, it would be wrong because the word “and” is an extra word that is not given for the answer.
    1. One plastic straw was even found in the airway of a SEA TURTLE.
    2. If you wrote only “turtle”, the answer would be wrong.
  7. Understanding the relationship between what we do and the negative OUTCOMES can be a motivation for CHANGE.


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  1. Chuks Ezedum says

    Thank you Aunty Liz. Your teaching style is very helpful.

  2. Thank You mam.

  3. Rawia Obida says

    Thanks Liz, it was of a great help.

  4. Thank you Ma. God bless you.

  5. Dear Liz, thank you for your excellent teaching and valuable tips to attain good score in IELTS. I studied about a week prior to final exam following your teaching and practice online. I believe you are an excellent teacher with big heart. I scored 7.5 in my overall band with listening and reading score of 8, writing 7, and speaking 7.5. Thank you Liz.

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