Eco-friendly Materials for Toys: A detailed overview
An eco-friendly toy is usually composed of biodegradable and natural materials such as wood, wool, cotton, bamboo, and other renewable materials. These toys are non-polluting and do not release gases like carbon gas, greenhouse gas, and other chemical toxins.
When released in the lakes, rivers, and environment, the eco-friendly materials do not harm amphibians or humans in any way. A toy made up of wood can also be toxic if not manufactured in a particular way/method. Hence, it is essential to follow a specific eco-friendly method of production.
Many companies have been on the sustainable journey for years, and also some companies have just started this journey.
There are numerous eco-friendly materials available to choose from. We would recommend you to choose toys that are made with natural materials, whenever possible. Few such raw materials are organic textiles, cotton, hemp, bamboo, wool, and unpainted wood. These materials have less to no amount of chemicals and are highly safe for kids. Whenever you buy toys, ensure that they are made up of degradable materials. Never choose to buy cheap plastic toys as they contain a high percentage of toxins.
In this article, we will cover everything related to eco-friendly and sustainable materials. Keep reading and find out why you should be using eco-friendly materials for toys, the various eco-friendly materials you can find in the market, and the hazards of purchasing cheap plastic toys.
Why Choose Eco-friendly Toys?
Every year millions of toys are manufactured across the globe. And sadly, half of them are made up of hazardous plastic. These toys are non-biodegradable and will end up in the oceans and seas. Hence, we must try to move towards sustainable toys and aim to save the planet.
And, this can be achieved only by producing toys with wood, cotton, wool, and other such eco-friendly materials. You can purchase plastic toys, but at the cost of our environment. We definitely don’t want that to happen.
So, we urge you to stop choosing plastic over sustainable toys as a parent. And this would also influence companies to manufacture eco-friendly toys.
Types of Eco-friendly Materials
There are various types of sustainable materials that are coming up in the market today. And here are four highly used eco-friendly & green materials.
Bamboo is known to be the best sustainable material available on this planet. It has a tremendous self-generating capacity. Some bamboo plants have been recorded to have grown up to 3 feet in a span of 24 hours. It is the most easily found plant as it keeps growing and doesn’t require to be replanted. It grows anywhere and everywhere, except in Europe & Antarctica.
Cork grows quickly as well. Just like bamboo, cork as well reproduces and grows without having to be harvested again and again. Even after being under continuous pressure, the cork comes back into its original shape. It is mainly included as an element in floor tiles.
3. Recycled Plastic
The purpose of using recycled plastic is to reduce greenhouse gases and stop the clogging of waterways. Recycling and reusing plastic is also a new way of using plastic.
Plant-based Polyurethane Rigid Foam
Plant-based polyurethane rigid foam is heavily used for insulation materials while building construction. This plant-based foam is manufactured from materials like bamboo, hemp, and kelp.
This form is used for the manufacturing of furniture, insulation, and turbine blades. And definitely, it can be a great material to make toys for kids as well!
List of Eco-friendly Materials Used for Toys
1. Wooden Eco-friendly toy
Go for toys that are made of sustainably sourced wood. Wooden toys made up of tree bark are the best such as maple or birch tree. Also, check if the wood is made of cheap wood or not.
If a toy is FSC certified, then that would be great for your kid as well. If a toy has an FSC mark on it, the toy manufacturing company has responsibly sourced wood from the supply chain.
2. Natural rubber-made toys
Natural rubber is degradable and free from chemicals. As kids tend to bite the toys, this material will be an excellent plastic-free choice.
3. Organic wool toys
Children love eco-friendly toys made of organic or sheep wool. Organic wool is typically free from chemicals and toxic pesticides and, hence, not risky for kids to play with.
4. Sustainable cotton toys
As we know that cotton is a very safe material for the earth. But, it is also equally safe for kids. Cotton toys are biodegradable as well as highly contribute towards building a sustainable planet.
You can easily find cotton toys in online and offline stores. Etsy is an e-commerce website where you can browse a wide range of eco-friendly, hand-made with love and biodegradable toy options. Get your kid a safe toy today!
Perks of Buying Toys From a Sustainable Company
• The whole manufacturing process in a sustainable company is carried out using sustainable materials and a sustainable mindset.
• The process is no waste production process
Water-based dyes and paints are used for packaging.
• Use of totally organic, toxin-free, and natural rubberwood.
• These companies use certified glue and materials that are free from formaldehyde.
• These companies are certified for sustainable manufacturing
They follow the international safety standards, i.e., ISO 9001 and ISO 14001.
• They keep in mind the employee’s health and wellbeing. And hence, maintain a healthy work atmosphere.
• Sustainable companies make use of the wooden waste generated to produce heat energy.
• They only produce products using reclaimed rubberwood.
Disadvantages of Purchasing Cheap Plastic Toys
1. High toxicity
The plastic toys have a high BPA content. And BPA is the most essential and highly used product for producing plastic toys. And, to be very straightforward, it is very toxic for kids and babies. Except these, lead and phthalates can also be accumulated in plastic toys.
2. Risk to the environment
Plastic is the biggest problem on our planet. It is non-biodegradable and has been stuck in the oceans and landfills for years. And production and use of sustainable toys can help reduce this problem to a great extent.
The plastic toys with lights and sounds affect the imaginary skills of kids. Kids who watch such toys can be amazed due to these plastic toys and limit their creative talents.
4. Cause of Injury
Plastic toys are often very poorly manufactured; one can easily break them and has a significant risk of injuring your kid. And due to this reason, it is advised to purchase non-plastic toys made of premium and organic quality.
Overall, eco-friendly toys are full of pros, and there is hardly any disadvantage of eco-friendly toys for your kid. These toys are uncomplicated, long-lasting, and free from hazards. While plastic toys are full of toxins, parents need to be highly cautious when buying such toys for their kids.
Hence, we recommend you always go for what’s the safest for your baby or toddler. Always prioritize quality over quantity. It is always best to spend an extra dollar and buy a high-quality toy than settle for a risky one.