So what are the alternatives to new petroplastics in toys?
- Natural materials:
- Exciting new bioplastics - materials that look and behave like plastic but are made entirely from plants, not petroleum. They're carbon-neutral but moldable, hard-wearing and long-lasting like petroplastic. And they're fully recyclable at end of life. We think these are the sustainability solution for most toys!
- Wood - but as it's heavy, be aware of toy miles - even sustainably-made wooden toys often travel 10,000km from China, Thailand, Indonesia, or Sri Lanka
- Paper - e.g., papercraft kits, shadow puppets, and sticky tape
- Cardboard can be beautiful! Playpress press-build-play flatpacked toys are made from the same cardboard as beer mats. And our 3D colour-ins are from recycled cardboard.
- Natural waxes like beeswax / soy wax instead of petroleum waxes for crayons;
- Sheepswool felt/yarn instead of acrylic.
- Recycled, safe petroplastics:
- The company most famous for recycled-plastic toys is Green Toys, whose work we love but California where they are made as far away as Shanghai (10,000km), so not actually that eco by the time they reach Ireland.
- Bioblo rainbow honeycomb stacking blocks are 35% recycled drinking-bottle plastic (and 60% sawdust, 5% eco-friendly dyes) and made in Croatia.
- Junko is 100% recycled plastic and made in UK/Poland.
- Eco-fi is a recycled craft felt.
- Experience gifts! The only truly zero-waste gift!
- Second-hand toys! They're local, and they use 0 resources (and you'll help prevent them ending-up in landfill!)
Plastic in toy packaging is even more annoying than in the toy itself, because it's usually discarded seconds after the toy's opened. We work hard to ensure our toys are packed without plastic - in fact, to keep our supply chain as plastic-free as possible. We like our toys packed in:
- Nothing at all! E.g., our wooden puzzles arrive to you unpackaged;
- Paper or cardboard (crumpled or shredded);
- Plant-based, compostable packing peanuts (you can check they're biodegradable by putting into a glass of water - watch them dissolve!);
- Some products need a transparent bag to keep them clean - e.g., papercraft kits, greeting cards. We are OK wtih PLA bags - they biodegrade but take longer than 3 months. But our favourite is NatureFlex which the worms will guzzle-up completely within 3 months :-)