Piles of plastic toys take up house in lots of household properties within the UK.
For those who’re a dad or mum, then you definitely’ll know the way tough it may be to keep away from shopping for them, whether or not it is diggers, dolls homes or constructing bricks.
The UK’s toy business is very large – final 12 months shoppers spent £370m on them.
However environmentalists say that is contributing to the quantity of plastic ending up in landfill and oceans.
A ballot by the British Coronary heart Basis discovered that greater than 1 / 4 of oldsters admit to throwing away toys which can be in good working order.
It spoke to greater than 2,000 folks and located kids have a mean of 4 toys they’ve by no means performed with.
‘My daughter loves plastic toys’
Lauren Tedaldi says her three-year-old daughter Mirella will get given a great deal of toys from family and friends.
“Whether or not it is Easter, Christmas or birthdays it all the time appears to be an excuse to purchase new toys.”
“Strive as we’d to purchase picket toys, or issues which can be a bit extra sturdy, or which can be higher for the setting, my little woman loves plastic toys.
“Like most children, the brighter and the crazier – the higher.
“We attempt to save the large toys for particular events, nevertheless it’s onerous and it is easy to finish up with tons and plenty of toys.”
Lauren says she does try to take a bag of previous toys to charity outlets usually and has a “one-in, one-out coverage” with regards to toys in the home.
“I do know charity outlets can recycle what they can not promote.
“I’d by no means simply throw toys away even when I used to be questioning in the event that they have been in good nick.”
Can toys ever be environmentally pleasant?
While we do not know precisely how a lot of the plastic that results in landfill comes from toys, inexperienced campaigners say that buyers may help scale back the quantity in circulation.
Associates of the Earth says there are methods to chop again on shopping for plastic toys – issues like toy libraries, passing toys on, shopping for much less, borrowing off associates and sharing extra.
Greenpeace UK instructed the BBC it would not rely plastic toys as ‘single-use plastics’ as they can be utilized time and time once more.
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“Toys are removed from single use plastics, as we all know from analysis that they keep inside a family for roughly 10 years and have a tendency to then be handed on to charities, associates and households,” Natasha Crookes from the British Toy and Interest Affiliation says.
The organisation claims many toys will final between 15-20 years earlier than they enter the waste stream.
Making toys out of recycled plastic won’t be the reply both.
“Recycled plastics are hardly ever ready for use within the course of of producing toys because of the uncertainty of the chemical composition of recycled plastic,” Natasha says.
“It might include one of many 1000’s of chemical compounds restricted below toy security laws.”
‘It is all about shopping for good high quality toys’
Avoiding plastic altogether and shopping for toys out of sustainable supplies may very well be the reply.
There are a great deal of new eco-style manufacturers that supply toys comprised of sustainable wooden and recycled supplies.
However they are often costly.
Mum-of-two Rachel Lochhead says she tries to avoid plastic toys if she may help it and solely buys “good high quality” toy manufacturers new so she is aware of they’ll final a very long time.
Rachel says she does purchase some plastic toys however solely second hand ones – primarily from Ebay or Gumtree and charity outlets.
“Plastic is a sensible materials and low-cost to fabricate so inevitably a lot of issues are comprised of it.”
‘Shopping for second hand saves me a great deal of cash’
Bettina Maidment tries to reside a plastic-free life.
In relation to toys although, she says she nonetheless buys plastic, however solely second-hand.
“For the final two Christmases I’ve accomplished a second-hand Christmas – I save fairly some huge cash that means.
“My son obtained a motorcycle for his birthday which we could not afford model new, however second-hand it was like new and he loves it.”
It is not simply on-line public sale websites which have grown in reputation with regards to reselling toys, dad and mom usually publish advertisements on social media teams providing up toys without spending a dime or a small worth.
How protected is it to purchase second-hand toys?
There have been some issues about the health risks of buying second-hand toys.
Final 12 months a research discovered some toys examined did not meet probably the most up-to-date security tips.
Mark Gardiner, of the Chartered Buying and selling Requirements Institute, stated: “Any items which can be purchased second-hand usually are not going to have the identical security assurances.
“Dad and mom ought to weigh up these dangers, particularly when giving their kids toys which can be very previous and will have additionally mechanically deteriorated over time.”
What are the toy corporations doing about plastic?
While shoppers are taking steps to reuse or recycle toys, inexperienced campaigners say it is as much as producers and retailers to behave.
Some toy corporations are taking steps to develop into extra sustainable.
Lego’s leaves, bushes and trees are now actually green – they’re made with plastic sourced from sugarcane.
It is a part of the Danish firm’s pledge to make use of sustainable supplies in its merchandise and packaging by 2030.
Toy firm MGA Leisure, which is behind L.O.L Shock!, is making an attempt to chop again on the waste produced from packaging its dolls.
Shoppers are invited to field the waste up, request and print a label from the web site, earlier than sending it off to TerraCycle for recycling.
How straightforward is it to recycle plastic toys?
Somewhat than chucking out an previous plastic practice set if it is broken, it is value checking together with your native recycling centre if they will take it.
Plastic toys and video games cannot be collected as a part of your family recycling scheme, in response to the Recycle Now marketing campaign group.
“In case your toys and video games are past restore, it could nonetheless be doable to recycle a few of the components for those who dismantle them – and this contains batteries and battery packs from distant controls which needs to be eliminated and recycled.”