The goals are to reduce, re-use, recycle and upcycle, and to increase efforts to support a circular economy. This involves thinking wisely through the product development life cycle from the early design stages, to the use of manufacturing materials and factory processing methods, to final packaging and waste reduction. Reducing our collaborative and individual carbon footprints are a key measure of success.
Her are some examples of large global manufacturers who are making progress meeting sustainability goals:
Hasbro (USA) announced in 2019 that it is going to phase out plastic packaging on its products by 2022. Its current sustainability goals include 25 per cent reduction in energy consumption and decreasing the waste to landfill by 50 percent. Other goals they are implementing are reducing their greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent and reducing water consumption by 15 percent by 2025.
Mattel (USA) plans to use 100% recycled, recyclable, or bio-based plastics materials in both its products and packaging by 2030. Some Fisher-Price infant toys are now made completely from sugarcane-based plastics and packaged in 100% recycled or sustainably sourced material. Mega Bloks First Builders Plant-Based Blocks are derived from bio-based resins and come in fully recyclable (FSC)-certified packaging Additionally, select Mega products can now be recycled via Terracycle.
Newer and small-to-midsize toy companies are also providing positive results on the environment:
Adventerra Games North America LLC (Swiss) is the newest division of this sustainable company which has, for 18 years, produced child-focused educational games with environmental themes such as Recycle Rally, Global Warning, Powerhaus, and Watergame. They use only natural materials and choose game pieces that are FSC-certified, non-toxic and recyclable. The games are ideal for inter-generational play since they focus on how individuals, including kids, can develop carbon-footprint-minimizing habits by changing their behaviors.
Green Toys (West Coast USA) is the largest player in the waste-to-toys industry. They use recycled milk jugs to make toy trucks, cars, boats and other playthings. Their toys are free of BPA, phthalates, and PVC and are made from 100% recycled materials. Green Toys maintains a tight, local supply chain in its mission to craft high-quality toys, and the entire workflow of Green Toys keeps raw materials from winding up in landfills.
Luke’s Toy Factory (East Coast USA) also sources locally as much as possible, with a goal of reducing the carbon footprint of its supply chain. They manufacture using an organic wood composite (maple sawdust, walnut and coconut shells, rice hulls, flax fiber) combined with plastic to make products with 40% less plastic than the average toy.
Shore Buddies (West Coast USA), since 2015, makes plush animals from six recycled plastic bottles. Their mission is to save marine life and keep plastics out of the oceans. Shore Buddies saved over 500,000 plastic bottles from entering our oceans and affecting marine wildlife.
These are just some examples of toymakers who are re-focusing their efforts on sustainable business models that are smarter and less wasteful, building towards a more environmentally friendly toy future.