Describe A Time when You Saw A Lot Of Plastic Waste

IELTS Speaking Part 2: IELTS Cue Card

Describe a time when you saw a lot of plastic waste (e.g. in a park, on the beach, etc.).

You should say:

Where and when you saw the plastic waste?
Why there was a lot of plastic waste?
What you did do after you saw it?
And explain what your thoughts were about this.

Note: You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes. You have one minute to think about what you are going to say. You can make some notes to help you if you wish.

Model Answer 1:

Unfortunately, plastic waste is becoming a serious threat and it is not uncommon to see plastic waste in our surroundings.

Here I am going to talk about my recent visit to a tourist attraction where I got disappointed to see plastic waste. Actually, there is a famous lake not far from my town, where people often go for picnic and enjoy boating.

Where and when you saw the plastic waste?
Last month, I too went there with my friends on weekend and we found this place extremely beautiful because of the natural scene. But, as we approached near the lake we felt extremely bad as there was loads of plastic waste in it.

Why there was a lot of plastic waste?
The fact is that, lots of people visit this place and often carry food in plastic containers and plastic bottles , but after having it they dump it carelessly.

We saw plastic bags, wrappers, cans, plastic bottles and much more, which was not only ruining the beauty of the place but also affecting the marine life.

What you did do after you saw it?
In fact, we clicked few photographs by the lake and in the background there were piles of plastic waste. Being concerned about the environment, we approached the management.

We requested them to keep the place clean and place dustbins for proper disposal of waste and if possible put a ban on plastic at site. In fact, we voluntarily cleaned the place with the cleaning staff which was enough to make others understand their responsibility as well.

The management appreciated our efforts and promised us that they will do everything possible to keep the place neat and tidy in future.

Model Answer 2:


  • Recently, I visited Leh, a hill station in Ladakh.
  • It became a really popular tourist destination after the movie 3 idiots was released because some of the movie scenes were shot there.
  • During these summer vacations, my parents and I went there.

Where and when you saw the plastic waste?

  • There, while travelling in Leh we saw huge mountains of plastic waste near a popular lake.
  • At first, I thought the problem is the lack of dustbins.
  • However, it was just the tip of the problem.

Why there was a lot of plastic waste?

  • Someone told us that each day more than 30,000 plastic bottles are dumped in Leh.
  • And there has been a sudden rise due to the increase in tourism.
  • There are no plastic recycling plants nearby and so there is no place to dump all the plastic.
  • The only solution is for the government to transport it back to big cities, with recycling facilities, or the government to build a recycling plant there.
  • However, both options are quite costly.
  • The government has started asking tourists to take the plastic bottles back with them instead of throwing them there.
  • I think the visit to Leh opened my eyes to the dark side of tourism.
  • Sometimes, these small places do not have the capacity to accommodate so many tourists.
  • I never thought about it from this perspective before.

Explain what your thoughts were about this and Conclusion:

  • Although I know, personally I don’t think I can make a big difference, I have stopped drinking from mineral water bottles if cleaner alternatives are available.

IELTS Speaking Part 3 : Follow up Questions

Here some examples of follow up questions that you may asked during your speaking part 3 by examiner related to cue card “describe a time when you saw a lot of plastic waste (e.g. in a park, on the beach, etc.)”.

1. Do you think we should use plastic products?
No, I don’t think that usage of plastic products should be encouraged. Every day in the newspaper we read about how plastics are destroying our planet, and there is not much we can do about it except prohibit their usage. Most of the plastic waste cannot be recycled and ends up in landfills or is dumped in the sea.

2. How can we reduce our use of plastic?
There are many simple everyday things that we can do to reduce our plastic consumption. For example, people can always carry a steel water bottle with them so that they don’t have to buy a plastic one. Another thing that people can do is to use jute or any other cloth bags for carrying goods from grocery stores.

3. What kinds of plastic waste are often seen in your country?
The most common plastic waste in my country would definitely be the plastic bags that people use for grocery shopping. The plastic water or soft drink bottles take the second spot.

4. Why do people like to use plastic products?
I think there are two main reasons behind it. One is that plastic is more convenient as it doesn’t get damaged easily and keeps the goods safe and dry. Secondly, plastic is cheaper as compared to metal or other alternatives.


Photo by Ariungoo Batzorig on Unsplash

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