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Sustainable Swaps to REDUCE Plastic toys in your family life

Updated: 2 days ago

The theme for this year's global movement Plastic Free July (2023) was, "small steps make a big difference". When we talk about our climate and nature crisis, toys are rarely, if ever, mentioned. I'm on a mission to change that through Timeless Toys by raising awareness and offering plastic-free focused toys on the high street. During Plastic Free July, I shared simple swaps and tips on our Instagram and Facebook @timelesstoysUK, on ways to reduce plastic in your children's lives with a few small effortless and affordable steps and help turn that (plastic) tap off!

During Week 1, I wanted to focus on easy eco-toy swaps to reduce plastic being bought and thrown away within a family. It's a mis-perception that being more sustainable means having to spend lots more money! A few simple changes through more considered choices we make when buying, can make a big difference.

  • Here's our first easy tip! Bath toys - only buy bath toys without holes in, like Tikiri Toys natural rubber animals, that won't go mouldy! Look for toys with cleaning options in their design, like Green toys tugboats and submarines can all come apart and are dishwasher safe, and Bigjigs' new silicone squirt buddies unscrew for washing and are dishwasher safe.

  • Our second tip is "leave only footprints behind". On UK beaches, there are 5000 pieces of plastic for each mile of coastline, including an estimated 1402 tonnes of lost, discarded and abandoned plastic toys annually. Choose to refuse to buy new beach and pool toys on day trips and holidays that you don't intend to bring home. Invest in toys like silicone Scrunch Kids buckets, that you can enjoy year after year for a whole childhood and pack into suitcases and backpacks easily to take with you AND bring home again.

  • Our third tip is about swapping out single use plastic toys for those made to be reused. An example of this is with bubbles. Every parent has experienced the time a plastic bubble wand or bottle is given to their child, and within seconds they tip it up and play is over. We believe it's time to refuse those throwaway plastic bubble wands, for a wooden & rope wand for bubble fun, that can last year after year. Let's start making the sustainable choices for our children, especially when there are such excellent alternatives like bubble wand kits from UK based Dr Zigs

There are many alternatives that can be chosen instead of plastic toys, so there is no missing out on the fun. As you go about family life, consciously look out for the swaps and simple changes that could easily be made.

If we care about the planet and leaving a liveable one for the next generation, we need to reduce our purchase of plastic toys, challenge the throwaway, abandonment and limited life span culture around them, start demanding alternatives from the toy industry and start seeing them for what they are; as a core contributor of our climate and nature crisis and our plastic waste problem. Small steps really do make a big difference.

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