With Christmas just a matter of weeks away, parents and family members are already out and about buying the kids stocking fillers and main presents. But do we give enough thought to what we are buying – and why?
Toys unloved and unwanted.
By the New Year, how many of those toys will be consigned to the back of the toy cupboard? In a recent survey carried out on behalf of the British Heart Foundation, over 30% of parents admitted to throwing out toys in good working order. Furthermore, it is estimated that most young children had at least four toys that are no longer played with. That equates to over 160,000,000 toys sitting around in UK cupboards and toy boxes, no longer loved, and no longer wanted.
Toys aren’t made of single use plastics.
Virtually every toy for small children is made from plastic. Cheap to manufacture, cheap to buy, and (virtually) indestructible, they clutter up the house until mum or dad decide to declutter, and perfectly serviceable toys get consigned to the bin for rubbish removal and possibly landfill. Although plastic toys can take hundreds of years to break down, they provide additional waste which will eventually pollute the environment and create new health concerns for future generations. So what can we do to help break this throwaway culture?
Buy less for more.
Remember those beautiful wooden rocking horses, die cast metal cars, or plywood dolls houses with all wooden furniture? They’re still about. But unfortunately, out of the pocket range of many young families. However they are also available on the second-user market, making them an excellent alternative to the plastic equivalent. Check out local adverts, charity shops, or online companies such as eBay for private sellers.
Consider reuse and recycle companies
Few local councils and rubbish removal companies are interested in recycling the toys that end up in the general waste bin. Instead, it’s cheaper and easier to have them buried. However, several high street charity shops are happy to take them off your hands. Those in good condition are cleaned up and given a new lease of life. Others go to businesses for repair and reselling abroad, or for chipping and melting to produce other products.
Organise a toy swap coffee morning
With so much emphasis on reducing pollution and our carbon footprint, young mums these days are far more environmentally aware than their parents ever were. How about organising a toy swap coffee morning. That last-years must have, that hasn’t seen the light of day for the last nine months, might be just the present your neighbour’s son or daughter is hankering after. Other organisations worth considering to get rid of those unwanted toys are local pre-school nurseries, primary schools, or local charities looking for prizes for their fetes and jumble sales. Helping raise much needed cash for the community.
Contact a specialist rubbish removal company.
While your council and local waste collection companies aren’t interested in recycling unwanted toys, certain specialist companies will happily take them off your hands. One such specialist rubbish removal company is Clearabee. With a boast that says less than 10% of their collected waste ends up in landfill, they will happily take them off your hands.
While organising your toy swap coffee morning, why not organise a broken toy collection morning? Get friends, family and neighbours to bring all their old unwanted or broken toys, and organise a collection from Clearabee. They offer a 24 hour clearance service and you can split the cost with everyone taking part, knowing they will all be doing their bit to reduce their carbon footprint.