There has been a lot of debate about manufacturers and the amount of packaging they use for products we consume. While some people blame the manufacturers for the waste generated from this packaging others blame the consumers for not choosing products that are manufactured in an environmentally conscious manner.
Let’s look at this example – You buy a toy for your child, they play with it for a few days or months and they are done with it. Now they want the next toy out there. What do you do with the toy your child does not want anymore? Do you pass it on to someone else who needs it, donate it or just throw it in the bin? Well, some of these plastic toys end up in landfill while some end up at the beach or in the belly of a whale which is quite depressing.
The amount of plastic that make their way to the marine environment from waste produced on land is not known but a study believes 4.8 to 12.7 million metric tonnes of plastic waste make their way into these water bodies.
Packaging in which products are shipped should be reduced. Reducing packaging and finding alternative materials that are sustainable and have less impact on the environment would go a long way in making our planet safe for us and future generations.
Hasbro – what are they doing?
A top manufacturer Hasbro has decided to do something about the issue of getting hold of materials even before they make it to landfill or the marine environment. Hasbro is partnering with Terracycle to recycle unwanted toys. This is only a pilot program limited to the U.S at the moment and if the program is successful, it will be expanded.
Hasbro toys and games accepted in this program include wood/plastic/metal, board games, dolls, action figures, plush toys and games.
Materials not accepted include:
- Baby products such as car seats, play pens, high chairs, swings, bouncy seats
- Ride – ons such as scooters, skateboards, bicycles and tricycles
It is important to remove batteries from toys before sending them to Terracycle. A good idea would be to check with your municipality so that they can advice you on how to go about recycling your batteries.
Terracycle’s Plastic Toy Recycling Process
The process involves collection, separation by materials type and processing.
- Collection: toys are shipped to Terracycle and gathered.
- Separation: After collection, the toys are separated by material type; that is plastics, metals.
- Processing: After the materials are separated, they are now processed into raw materials. The raw materials are used to manufacture new recycled products.
What I like about the program
You’re not paying a dime to get these items recycled. Simply send them for recycling FREE.
Playgrounds, flower pots, benches are some final products that can be produced from old plastic toys.
How to participate
You would need to create an online account with Terracycle. Once that’s done, a free shipping label will be sent to you to stick on toy boxes to be recycled.
Toy Donations…A no no
It is important to point out that the Hasbro toy pilot program focuses on recycling the toys collected so if you are looking at donating your toys rather than recycle them, you would need to contact the charity yourself to see if they will take it.
If the Hasbro recycling program is successful, the program will be expanded worldwide. A list of acceptable and non-acceptable materials can be found on the terracycle website.
It is only fair to say that we all should reduce as much as possible, then reuse and recycle in that order. If we can reduce our waste right at the source, then the amount of waste we generate will reduce drastically.
Manufacturers need to analyze the materials required to make a product first. These days packaging come in huge sizes in most cases. If manufacturers can do their part and consumers also opt for environmentally friendly alternatives, then there will be minimal waste or zero waste lying around.
What do you think? Share your thoughts. I’d love to hear from you.