As parents ditch plastic toys, wood comes in to play
Even the Rubik's Cube is not safe as a rise in sales of wooden, recyclable and non-plastic toys points to a major eco-friendly mindset change
Forget organic food and clothes. Now eco-friendly toy boxes are becoming a must have for some SA children.
As South Africans become more aware of the environment, they are making more informed choices about the type of toys they are buying their children.
Most parents have become mindful of the harmful effects of toys made from plastic in particular.
According to trade magazine Plastics, 90% of all toys on the market are made of plastic, which, environmentalists warn, are detrimental to the environment when discarded.
A survey by IPEN, a global civil-society network, found in 2017 that some toys contained high levels of toxins usually found in electronic waste.
The study claimed that contaminants that can damage the nervous system and reduce intellectual capacity were found in toys made out of recycled plastic.
Among these was the Rubik’s Cube.
A Global Toys and Games Market research report noted a rising demand for eco-friendly toys, which are made from the materials such as wood, cardboard and organic cotton.
Nicole Annells, marketing manager of Toys R Us and Babies R Us South Africa, said there “is definitely a shift in mindset with South African consumers, especially millennial parents, who are becoming more driven by sustainable life choices”.
Annells said the increase in sales of wooden, recyclable and non-plastic toys was testament to the mindset change.
“Toys R Us recognises the growing trend towards eco-friendly toys and this has guided our newer product ranges,” she said.
“We strive to incorporate more product lines each year, such as our Melissa & Doug range as well as our science ranges, which encourages environmentally conscious playtime.”
Toy Kingdom is also mindful of sustainable toys. The chain stocks the Hape range, the world’s largest producer of eco-friendly wooden and bamboo toys that come from natural, renewable sources.