With the large increase in their applications, polymer recycling has become a serious environmental concern, which affect students of all ages. We capitalize on students’ familiarity with polymer products to provide a platform for working within a group setting while learning fundamental aspects of polymer processing, structure/ property relationships, environmental sustainability. In this three-week laboratory series, 2nd or 3rd year college students are encouraged to work as groups with different recycled polystyrene products from daily life. Students learn basic polymer physics and polymer chemistry by dissolving them and reforming them into thin films. In addition, we instruct students to work with characterization technique, such as FTIR, to characterize their recycled products and to learn chemical structure of polystyrene. Students are required to give presentations of their results and proceed an open discussion on polymer recycling. These experiments provides learning experience involving polymer recycling, processing, and characterization—relates real world products with laboratory skill sets. Students learn to evaluate their individual results within an increasingly broader collaborative sphere. This open-end experiment encourages students to conduct more research on polystyrene recycling and other polymer materials.