Plastic free toys have been growing in popularity over the last few years, but what are they, and are there any benefits to going plastic free?
Plastic free toys are any that are made without plastic. They’re usually made from a sustainable material and are eco-friendly. They are just as useful for educational play, and just as colourful as more conventional toys.
The most readily available toys are usually made from wood. You should look for a wood that has been sourced from sustainable sources. These toys are usually made from birch or maple, as these trees grow relatively quickly. You should also check the toys for the FSC stamp. FSC, or Forest Stewardship Council, means that the company has responsibly managed forests to supply the wood.
Natural rubber is a fantastic choice for children’s toys, especially for younger babies. Natural rubber is non-toxic, sustainable, breathable and biodegradable. It’s completely safe for your little one to put in their mouths, which is important for babies in the mouthing stage.
Organic wool and sustainable cotton are natural materials that make stunning toys. They haven’t been treated with as many chemicals and pesticides as traditional wool and cotton, which is reassuring as young children do enjoy putting their toys in their mouths. Organic wool and cotton toys tend to be things like stuffed animals, soft rattles and dolls.
Plastic free toys have a number of different benefits, but here are some of the most important ones.
The process of manufacturing plastic is harmful for the environment. It’s made from petroleum and extracting petroleum from the ground is destructive for the environment. After extraction, it needs to be refined and processed, and this process is also very harmful for the environment.
As well as the manufacturing process, many plastic toys are made from mixed materials, which means that they can’t be recycled. These mixed plastics end up in landfills, incinerated, or dumped in ways that are not environmentally friendly.
Some plastics, and some of the chemicals that are involved in making them, are toxic. They contain phthalates, BPA, BPS and PVC. All of these are harmful for people, and some are linked to certain types of cancer. While toys bought from a reputable retailer are generally safe, there have been other toys that have failed safety tests and tested positive for chemicals that are harmful.