Nowadays, it seems like plastic is synonymous with toys, as more than 90% of toys worldwide are made of the material. However, that number neglects the other crucial waste creator in the toy market: plastic packaging.
One parent shared the pile of pink plastic they unwrapped from their kid’s newest toy and posted it for the Reddit community to discuss.
The parent shared a photo filled with plastic of various shades of pink, all from the packaging of five dolls. They stated, “Each piece of clothing or decoration came with its own plastic package and the dolls were wrapped in 5 more layers of plastic.”
The photo further proves the egregious plastic usage, with packaging ranging from thin, plastic film to sturdier outer packaging. Unfortunately, this will all likely end up in a landfill.
Toys are often made of plastic because the material is cheap, durable, and extremely moldable. You can make nearly anything from plastic, from a generic toy sword to an intricate action figure from your kid’s favorite movie franchise. However, the dominance of plastic in the toy world means misfortune for our planet.
In most communities, toys are not accepted in curbside or municipal recycling. There is no easy way to recycle these toys or their packaging, which means all the plastic will go to waste. If not properly disposed of, this plastic could end up in our oceans, where it can hurt wildlife and end up in the food chain.
One of the best ways to dispose of toys is by reusing or donating them, but that doesn’t help the packaging problem, as shown in this Reddit post. One commenter shared that they have a local “children’s clothing and toy exchange,” and even though it is more expensive than a thrift store, “the community values the idea of not buying new crap.”
The comments in this Reddit thread shared this parent’s gripes with the packaging, saying their kids “like unwrapping more than the dolls themselves.” Another added that there is more to the problem than plastic: “People shouldn’t buy this for their kids. This just promotes bad habits, that the satisfaction only comes from opening gifts.”
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