Toy firms get into gear with green message
Now toy manufacturers are going green to teach youngsters about the threats to the environment.
Cars for children are being based on real-life electric vehicles and will be made using recycled materials, while other companies are to stop giving away free plastic toys, cut back on their packaging and to go back to using paper bags.
“It is never too soon to educate the next generation about the dangers of climate change and this is a fun and innovative way to do it.” said green energy expert Ron Fox.
UK-based Matchbox announced recently that as part of a global relaunch they would be producing a mini version of the Tesla Roadster which would be followed by other electric and hybrid models and scaled down charging stations.
The Tesla Roadster, which will be the first die-cast model made from 99 per cent recycled materials, will go on sale next year. Made from reused zinc and plastic with just one per cent from non-recycled stainless steel, it will come in zero-plastic packaging made from paper and wood fibre.
The firm, which sells more than 40 million die-cast toy vehicles each year, wants to raise awareness among children of the environmental impact of motoring.
The Danish company Lego plans to make 100 per cent of its packaging sustainable by 2025 and has said it will start using paper bags again. The company, which said it had been prompted by letters from children, is now exploring alternative materials for its plastic bricks such as sugar cane, but they are not sure how robust they would be.
The American toy and games company Hasbro has already announced that it is going to phase out plastic packaging on its products by 2022 and aims for a 25 per cent reduction in its energy consumption, halving the waste to landfill, reducing the greenhouse gas emissions by one fifth and cutting its water consumption by 15 per cent by 2025.
For its 75th anniversary last year, Mattel, the American company behind Barbie and Fisher-Price, said it is planning to be more environmentally friendly and to use more bio-based sugar cane plastic in its products.
And Waitrose has said it will no longer sell magazines with plastic disposable toys after calls from some of the children to whom the giveaways were aimed at. The supermarket retailer admitted the free plastic toys have a short lifespan and cannot easily be recycled.
“With more than 60 million children under 14 just in the United States alone and 90 per cent of toys made of plastic, it shows how big the worldwide problem is,” said Ron, of Noreus Ltd on the University of Keele Science and Innovation Park.
“It is good news that toy companies are at last doing something, but it is even better they are being encouraged by the children and their parents who seem more eco-conscious than previous generations.”
For more details about green energy and sustainable shopping, call Ron on 0845 474 6641.
Caption: Revving up for the future – toy firms are being encouraged to become greener by young families.