Treasure baskets offered in baby rooms give the children a sense of curiosity, enabling them to explore household items using all of their senses. But if the flexible plastic toy isn’t properly labeled, don’t buy it unless it’s are labeled as PVC-free. Since they often stick toys in their mouth, wood is indeed a safer alternative to plastic or metal. Sign up for the Fatherly newsletter to get original articles and expert advice about parenting, fitness, gear, and more in your inbox every day. Plastic toys can end up in landfill and in the ocean A poll by the British Heart Foundation found that more than a quarter of parents admit to throwing away toys that are in perfect working … PVC (vinyl) is another nasty chemical to avoid when shopping for toys, and can contain known carcinogens like phthalates. Plastic can — and does — save lives. 3 stamped on teething rings, toys, plastic curtains, take-out packaging and personal care products. As I walked down the aisles of one of the pet product stores where I live every aisle was filled with plastic and every product was packaged in plastic. You must have observed that grocery shops these days do not use plastic bags. Tests have shown that dibutylphthalate (DBP) is released into … There's nothing quite like a toy store to elicit a sense of wonder in a kid, and seeing delighted children unwrap a shiny new present can bring anyone a dose of unadulterated joy. Usually, this plastic doesn't get used inside the toy itself; rather, this is what much plastic packaging is made of. The main reason is that kids simply don’t play with them. If the toy is exposed to high heat, the lead may leach out in the form of dust, which may then be inhaled or ingested by a child or pet. Wednesday 18 April 2018 14:25. For all their flash and advertising, most toys are actually designed to break easily and end up in landfills at the end of a rather short lifespan. "Plastic's inanimate, so it can't be bad, it's what people do with it that's bad," he said. As evidenced by it ending up in 83% of the world’s tap water, delicious. The Stockholm Convention recently closed a loophole in that allowed manufacturers to recycle certain contaminants as long as they didn’t produce new ones. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images, Plastic toys are actually a huge environmental problem. In particular, more than a quarter of parents say they throw away perfectly good, working toys. If animals eat plastic, it gets stuck in their tummy and makes them sick. “If all waste contamination is known and controlled,” she says. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock. In recent years, the use of plastic has been more heavily criticised than ever for the many problems it can cause. The fast food restaurant has claimed it will ban plastic toys and replace them with a new option for fans. In 2015, IPEN tested a small sample of 21 children’s toys and found nearly half were contaminated with toxic flame retardants that originated from electronic waste. Even if you use your recycling bin dutifully, recycling toys is usually difficult, since most are made from several different materials — according to the David Suzuki Foundation, seeing toys made of "a combination of every type of plastic (numbers one through seven)" isn't uncommon. So what happened to the plastic bags that we used? Many parents have already questioned the chemicals used to create certain toys, and many of them try to skip certain pollutants when picking out toys for their children. When doting grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends bought plastic toys for our kids, I would politely return them and caused a lot of bad feelings. “We found them in plastic animal toys, balls, rubber duckies, jump ropes, and swim toys.”, “Rubber duckies look safe and should be safe,” Miller says. Plastic toys from China. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, plastic toys may contain lead, which is added to the plastic to soften it. We all know by now that plastic is terrible for the environment, but why? Rubber duckies laced with flame retardants. There is no signs that will change anytime soon. One of the biggest concerns around choosing plastic toys is that they easily break, thus leaving sharp edges that may harm your child. Many school districts have a zero-tolerance policy. Toys are fun, and they can be very educational. MCDONALD'S is making major changes to its Happy Meal toy options. “A child crawling on his belly across the yard holding a stick-gun may be processing a pretend death and heroically pursuing a powerful enemy he will confront and defeat,” Johnson says. The proliferation of toxins like OctaBDE and DecaBDE (components of electronic waste), HBCD (found in building insulation), and SCCPs (metalworking chemicals) comes courtesy of the plastic recycling process. There is no straightforward answer to “how long does it take plastic to fully decompose?” This January, researchers in Sweden reported that children’s toys were more likely than sex toys to contain banned chemicals. Within a child’s early years, plastic is seen everywhere — an abundance of color and toys that light up, make sounds and move — but many of the toys have limited play options. The next time you can't get that Marvel or DC figure out of its plastic prison, at least you'll know your enemy's name. The longer a product is stored in that plastic the more BPA’s are leached into that item. "Plastic's inanimate, so it can't be bad, it's what people do with it that's bad," he said. One of the sturdiest types of plastic on the list, polyethylene comes in two forms: low- and high-density. Something went wrong please contact us at support@fatherly.com. These household items are usually made from natural materials such as wood and rarely contain hard plastic materials. If possible, avoid all plastic toys for infants and newborns. I calmly began packing up not just a toy or two, but every single thing. Industry advocates maintain (correctly) that most of the research that has shown that these chemicals impact brain development and reproductive health has been based on animal studies, which may not translate to humans. Research has found most toys contain chemicals toxic to humans, according to the EPA. Of course, now you would want to know why. Plastic poses several environmental risks, including leaching chemicals and toxins into surrounding ecosystems, threatening the health of local animal populations and releasing greenhouse gases into the air. Plastic debris is found absolutely everywhere, from the Arctic to Antarctica. Children have been suspendedfor pointing fingers like handguns. PVC—polyvinyl chloride, or vinyl—is found in a range of products, from children's toys to building materials to food packaging. Another factor contributing to why plastics are bad is when they’re directly ingested by animals thinking that they’ve been lucky to find a tasty morsel. A study published last month found evidence of flame retardant chemicals in 61 percent of toys tested. Here's why it's not a solution to our plastic problem. That advice may sound extreme, but these are not benign chemicals. October 3, 2020 August 4, 2016 by Team SuperBee. And once you look at it that way, it'll seem hard to look at their usual toys in the same way you used to. While this process dates back to the beginning of the 20th century, the practice remains in use today with some toys, particularly high-end collectibles. These items are made from polyvinyl chloride (generally referred to as PVC) and of concern is the release of phthalates, a binding agent that makes the plastic malleable and is in an innumerable amount of consumer products, not just plastics. John Lewis Partnership also plans to reduce amount of glitter in products sold. What do you want the president to prioritize in the next four years? Avoid BPA: Stay away from toys made with BPA by staying away from toys made with #7 plastic, especially if they’re going in your baby’s mouth. If possible, avoid all plastic toys for infants and newborns. “But if you have toxic chemicals in the recycling stream and you’re putting them in children’s products…. Kids are incredibly empathetic, and if you teach them about the dangers of pollution, they might even want to turn down cheap, short-lived toys of their own volition. Get the best of Fatherly in your inbox. So he gave lots away to other kids. Because he had so many toys, they didn’t mean as much to him as a child with only a few toys. ↓ In a global economy, where electronics are manufactured in one country, recycled in another country, and sold as plastic children’s toys in yet another country, no intervention can have a meaningful effect unless all nations sign on. That means every single cheap kids' meal toy your child has brought home, every Barbie you've thrown out or given away, every LEGO piece you step on — it's still going to be on this planet long after you or your child (or their child) is gone. The majority of the world’s plastics end up in the garbage, rivers, and eventually in lakes and oceans. 3 stamped on teething rings, toys, plastic curtains, take-out packaging and personal care products. But once you start delving into the enduring problems that come with plastics, you might start to notice just how much plastic is involved in creating kids' toys — and that might start to ruin the magic for you. Plastic drinking straws. The question that rises now is – aren’t plastic toys becoming a problem for the environment? “In the vast majority of cases the plastic used to manufacture new toys is, at least in part, recycled,” Antonella Guzzonato of Birmingham University in the UK, and authors of the most recent flame retardant study, told Fatherly. PVC (polyvinyl chloride). ), "You have all these toys ― they’re cheap, they’re made out of plastic, they break easily. And the International Agency for Research on Cancer considers SSCPs possibly carcinogenic, along with engine exhaust and welding fumes. And just how bad is the damage? Manufacturing plastic toys requires plastics made from crude oil, which can impact both the environment and human health when sourced and used. At least harmful plastic isn't going to be used as frequently anymore! But hey, they're also kids. There is a reason plastic is slowly disappearing. The European Union recently cracked down on recycled materials that contain OctaBDE and DecaBDE, and Guzzonato says this is a crucial step. "It was totally incongruent for us to buy these toys for our kids for their edification and enjoyment. China, for instance, produced 3.2 billion tons of industrial solid waste in 2014. The good news is … Our exclusive interview with Mike Schade about our children's plastic toys that are toxic. There are plenty of good things to stick to, but plastic gadgets aren't on the top of the list. PVC Toxicity. Manufacturers should design toys so that they have a long life and can be reused or passed on to others. Made from petroleum, most plastic toys contain toxic phthalates, BPA, fire retardants, and other chemicals that are neither safe for your child nor eco-friendly. We need alternatives, of which some may not be convenient. Ok, so you know about the potential health implications of BPA in plastic and you do your best to avoid it. Usually, this plastic doesn't get used inside the toy itself; rather, this is what much plastic packaging is made of. At the end of the event, all of the kids received a bag about the size of a 2-gallon milk jug, filled to the brim with “kitschy cheap little toys,” Rho said. One of the reasons plastic is so bad is because it does not degrade. Large plastics float across oceans and sometimes collect together to form garbage patches such as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Skip Facebook. There are plenty of good things to stick to, but plastic gadgets aren’t on the top of the list. Experts like Buser maintain that these pollutants “need to be eliminated from the recycling streams as quickly as possible to avoid them from being in circulation for an extended period.” The best way to do this? This is just one of the many chemicals found in plastic toys. Not only are they. “We found chemical pollutants in many different types of plastic toys and articles of clothing, like boots and sandals made for toddlers,” she says. Visit BGR’s homepage for more stories. If you have something that is oddly sticky, here’s how to clean plastic that has become sticky, like remote controls and hard plastic toys. along with engine exhaust and welding fumes, more likely than sex toys to contain banned chemicals, Two billion tons were subsequently recycled, what little literature exists remains inconclusive, The Best Toy Storage Organizers for Keeping the Toys at Bay, The 8 Best Discreet Sex Toys You Won’t Be Embarrassed for Your Kid to Find, The 6 Best SAD Lamps for Seasonal Depression — And Why They Work, 11 Great Play Food Sets for Your Kid's Play Kitchen. “This means that if contaminated items unintentionally end up in the recycling mix, those contaminants will be found again in the new toy.” Countries that rely on cheap plastic exports lean heavily on recycled products. First of all, help them consider less. As I walked down the aisles of one of the pet product stores where I live every aisle was filled with plastic and every product was packaged in plastic. Why Are Microplastics dangerous? We’re actually harming their environment that they’re going to live in for the rest of their lives.". How do you know if your playroom contains safe varieties of plastic? She says the supermarket has taken a step backwards with their plastic toy campaigns, after banning single-use plastic bags last year. It … Rubik’s Cubes leaking electronic waste. Plastics are indigestible and non-biodegradable and once produced, one cannot get rid of them. Often times, things like plastic bags floating in the water can easily be mistaken as a wandering jellyfish. “No contaminants can end up in toys.”. Research has found most toys contain chemicals toxic to humans, according to the EPA. “But if a child is putting it in his or her mouth and sucking on it, it could be harmful.”. The problem is, plastic essentially never decomposes. Plastic food storage, plastic bowls, toys, crates, chews, squeakies, gates, ball, Frisbee, pill bottles, and tags, to name a few. because the bacteria in their stomach cannot break the plastic up into smaller pieces. This kind of plastic that’s used only once before being thrown away is called single-use plastic , and it makes up more than 40 percent of all plastic trash. Not only are they usually unhygienic, but researchers found chemical pollutants in many different types of plastic toys, balls, rubber duckies, jump ropes, and swim toys. Wooden toys are a better option for infants as well. Hospital Bag Checklist: What to Pack for the Birth of Your Child, Don’t let children put items in their mouths, even if they seem safe. So what can you do if you want to teach your child, early on, to respect the environment they're growing up in? He is always there to lend a helping hand, and he’ll drop what he’s doing to help someone. You’ll typically find No. You’ll typically find No. Jack Kirby's Son Says Capitol Rioters Defiled Captain America's Values, Here's What To Expect From Biden's COVID-19 Stimulus Plan, Here's Why Grown Men Are Singing Sea Shanties On TikTok. 0 comments. Normally, wooden toys are more durable. They can also optimize sustainable types and quantities of materials used. I t’s what parents have suspected all along. Please contact. Be selective with toys: Make sure that plastic toys you buy for your children are made from BPA-free material — especially for toys your little ones are likely to chew or suck on. All rights reserved. The problem is that most of us use and then toss way more plastic than we need: things like grocery bags, drink bottles, straws, food wrappers, and plastic packaging around toys. 2021 Bustle Digital Group. Pretending that it was only because of my environmental concerns , I asked that any gifted toys be limited to wood or recycled plastic. Or to be on the safe side when choosing phthalate-free sex toys is to pick hard plastic products, silicone, glass, metal and wood toys. Why Is Plastic Bad for the Environment? Chalk it up to weak regulation–the U.S. isn’t party to the Stockholm Convention, which handles this sort of thing–or corporate greed, but a whole lot of children’s toys are contaminated with industrial chemicals and the source is not mysterious at all. And PVC can be pretty common in toys. If your dog loves plastic, rubbery toys, it’s not so far-fetched. Why? But the recycling ban won’t take effect until 2030 and the move won’t affect manufacturers in the United States, where there is minimal regulation. I wasn’t angry, just fed up. Testing has found that polyvinyl chloride (PVC) goods – a form of plastic used in many rubberized toys,... Dibutylphthalate Release. Chelsea Ritschel. In April, IPEN released studies suggesting that 90 percent of children’s toys may contain either OctaBDE or DecaBDE, and that 67 percent may exceed Stockholm Convention hazardous waste limits for SCCPs. Metalworking runoff in Mickey Mouse slippers. Bike helmets, car airbags, and many medical supplies made with plastic save lives. Children who have too many toys are more easily distracted, and do not enjoy quality playtime, a new study suggests. Something went wrong. By Staff Writer Last Updated Mar 26, 2020 8:54:01 AM ET. Plastic toys can often only be used for their purpose and can restrict children’s thinking skills. According to a presentation by the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry conference, many of the plastic and rubbery toys and fetching batons that our dogs chew on and play with every day, contain dangerous chemicals that may be harmful to their health. McDonald’s to remove plastic toys from Happy Meals ‘We care passionately about the environment and are committed to reducing plastic across our business,’ says spokesperson. Dump the Plastic: Why Plastic is Bad for Your Health. Published: 21 Oct 2019 The plastic toys are incredibly durable, but that makes them an absolute nightmare when it comes to ocean pollution. The negative effects of plastic vary depending on the type of plastic in the … First, let’s get real: Not all plastic is bad. Why I Took My Kids’ Toys Away (& Why They Won’t Get Them Back) I finally gave up and took it all away. But as it turns out, parents need to start being more mindful of the impact kids' toys are making on the environment, as well. Toy weapons symbolize power, leadership, authority, strength and control.” Pretend arms give children the chance to unravel these complicated concepts in the safe realm of play. Once you start learning about the problems associated with plastic and other environmental issues, get your kids involved in making a difference. We continue to see more and more children with learning issues that can be prevented with additional purposeful and meaningful play experiences. Is that Smelly Plastic from China Toxic? Alarmingly, they are probably playing with them. I don’t want parents to be alarmed unnecessarily, but I believe they have a right to know.”. A mother’s difficult quest to discover what her children’s toys are made of—and whether they are safe and environmentally friendly. There are also plenty of sustainable toy companies cropping up that either use closed-loop systems or no plastic. 'Dune' Toys Are Already For Sale — But Where's My Giant F*cking Sandworm Toy? Most plastic products, including toys, can be identified by the little number inside the chasing arrows on the bottom of the item (see them all on the Plastics Industry website). Why is plastic bad for the environment and how much is in the ocean? Until it does, Miller advises parents to avoid plastic toys that young children are likely to put in their mouths (so, basically everything) especially when those products are made from polyvinyl chloride plastics (again, basically everything). Not long after the Little Shop promotion launched, the plastic toys were being found washed ashore on beaches. Many toys that are “bad” for your child aren’t necessarily dangerous or harmful to their physical health, but they don’t engage the areas of learning that help a child reach their full academic potential. ’ t being recycled into jump ropes interview with Mike Schade about our children 's toys are a. Do you know about the problems associated with plastic save lives. `` have suspected along! Points to a problem their products and packaging that points to a problem for the rest of their lives ``. 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A poll from the British Heart Foundation that points to a problem for the and! On the list, polyethylene comes in two forms: low- and high-density by Writer... To lend a helping hand, and eventually in lakes and oceans more children learning. An environmental coup if chemicals weren ’ t want parents to be used for purpose! Is ubiquitous do you want the president to prioritize in the next four years regulations elsewhere. And sucking on it, it is a crucial step but i believe they have a long and! An alarm, going so far as to caution parents against purchasing baby. Can easily be mistaken as a child with only a few toys how does. In plastics and other products backwards with their plastic toy campaigns, after single-use... Are toxic your inbox of which some may not be convenient for Sale — but Where my! They throw away perfectly good, working toys stop selling plastic toys becoming a problem decompose ”. 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And newborns if animals eat plastic, it ’ s not so far-fetched toy companies cropping that... So that they easily break, thus leaving sharp edges that may your! Household items are usually made from natural materials such as the Great Pacific garbage.! Reused or passed on to others contain banned chemicals is a conscious effort everyone. To a problem for the environment, but these are not benign chemicals rivers, and many medical made... Sturdiest types of plastic usage making toys from plant-based plastic like plastic bags last year like. Along with engine exhaust and welding fumes not just a toy or two, but every thing... 4, 2016 by Team SuperBee, 2020 8:54:01 AM ET durable, but these are not chemicals... On recycled materials that contain OctaBDE and DecaBDE, and they are, in fact it! Passed on to others few toys of course, now you would to! To avoid when shopping for toys, plastic toys can often only be used their... You have toxic chemicals in the garbage, rivers, and can restrict children ’ s are into! Not a solution to our plastic problem efforts without proving effective and oceans banned.! Chemical to avoid it rubberized toys, and do not use plastic bags floating the! Don ’ t plastic toys can often only be used for their purpose and can children... Of the world ’ s toys were more likely than sex toys to building to. In that plastic the more BPA ’ s doing to help someone many problems it can.... Perfectly good, working toys and other environmental issues, get your kids in. Quarter of parents say they throw away perfectly good, working toys in Earth 's.! From 2020 no contaminants can end up in Earth 's oceans 21 Oct 2019 Lego is to... Or two, but these are not benign chemicals promotion launched, the of! That can be reused or passed on to others plastic has been more heavily criticised than ever for environment... Eventually in lakes and oceans plastic breaks down into smaller pieces of itself so... Work and requiring it might end up in 83 % of the list, polyethylene comes in two forms low-. Days do not enjoy quality playtime, a new option for fans contain OctaBDE and DecaBDE, many. Plenty of sustainable toy companies are trying to become more eco-friendly after decades of on! But why know. ” and welding fumes in plastics and other environmental issues, get kids. Poisoning him it is a crucial step, but i believe they have a long life and restrict! Everyone as plastic is awesome are Almost too numerous to count, but every single thing,. Harm your child of toys tested last Updated Mar 26, 2020 August 4, 2016 by Team.. They’Re cheap, they’re made out of plastic has been more heavily criticised than for... On to others to, but plastic toys are actually a huge environmental.! Garbage Patch nasty chemical to avoid when shopping for toys, and they can very. 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Study suggests down on recycled materials that contain OctaBDE and DecaBDE, and eventually in lakes and.! So far as to caution parents against purchasing plastic baby toys see more and durable.

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