Why plastic toys

For our ecoBirdy project we wanted to do something different. Not easy in 2017 when already everything – when it comes to consumer goods – seems to exist. We were researching about sustainability, about sustainable materials.

But honestly, how could we think about sustainability and at the same time producing something new, in a world where an excess of consumer goods already exists?

Continuing our researches we focussed on plastic and its recycling. Plastic is such a guilty material, maybe we could in any way give plastic a better standing? We wanted to deepen our knowledge about it. Getting more and more into the topic we were, frankly said, shocked! When it comes to plastic, usually everybody’s first thought is packaging, mainly for food and beverage. Reading in-depth statistics and reports about plastic we found out it is plastic toys though that play a significant role.

We want to share some of these facts with you:
1. Toys are the most intensive users of plastics amongst consumer goods, about 15 times higher than plastic used in food packaging*
2. The plastic of only one piece of toy is comparable to 500 bottle caps
3. 90% of toys are made of plastic**
4. 40% of these toys have a lifetime of only 4 months**
5. Usual plastic toys are not widely recycled, in the UK 8.5 million new and usable toys are landfilled every single year*

So after all our researches we knew we wanted to recycle the plastic of toys. Babies and toddlers from the age of 0 to 3 years grow fast and their abilities and interests even faster. The lifetime of their toys (be played) therefore is approximately – in most cases – not longer than only 4 months. We decided to give these toys a new life, but not only as any product. No. We rather wanted to get them reused from the kids where they had come from. So we chose to collect old, unused and broken plastic toys, recycle the plastic of these and make furniture for kids staring from the age of 4. From this age children start needing their own spaces. With ecoBirdy thus we are aiming to offer the possibility to children to create their first own spaces, but also to better understand and raise awareness for sustainability. We think that starting with the little ones can have the biggest impacts for the future of our earth.

* UNEP, Valuing Plastic report 2014
** www.treehugger.com