There are millions of materials in the world. They can be classified in many groups such as plastic, paper and metal. People are adequate at using materials in ways that look after the environment however they could get better.
People can use materials in many different ways such as.... glass can be used for windows and glass houses. Wood can be used for desks, tables, houses and many more things. Cardboard can be used for boxes and book covers.
Materials are made up of many properties. Metal can rust and some of them are magnetic, it can be recycled. Organic materials come from nature so that means they can biodegrade. Plastic is man-made. It is made from petroleum so that means it won't biodegrade, instead it's photodegradable. Photodegradable is where it breaks down from the sun. According to science it takes 500 - 1000 years for one plastic bag to break down.
Overall I think people are adequate at using materials in ways that look after the environment. There are some people who think they can litter when and where ever they like because either they can't be bothered putting rubbish in the bin or they are not properly educated and need to be taught.