Exclusive: A brighter future

Published on: 9th June 2020

Toy World spoke to toy companies addressing sustainability challenges head-on, to find out how materials, packaging and play itself can pave the way to a greener future.

Always something of a pathfinder, MGA Entertainment outlined the next steps it was taking on its sustainability journey, which has been spearheaded by the phenomenally successful L.O.L. Surprise! collectibles brand. The company’s partnership with the waste recycling specialist Terracycle, which kicked off in 2019, has been further extended to include Ireland as well as Britain and the USA, while a new bio-degradable L.O.L. Surprise! ball, plus a new patent-pending compound that facilitates the degradation of plastic in landfill conditions, will reduce single-use plastic waste even more.

The company plans to go further; in an announcement made in April, MGA outlined plans to make the entire L.O.L Surprise! packaging line completely degradable by 2021, while, by 2025, MGAE says it will only manufacture products that will break down safely when disposed of properly.

To coincide with World Earth Day 2020, Zuru also outlined a new programme which it hopes will prevent some 800 tonnes of single-use plastic entering the supply chain each year, by making the plastic stems and caps for its best-selling Bunch O Balloons from 100% fully certified and traceable post-consumer-recycled plastic.

Mattel, meanwhile, is set to debut its first product aligned with its goal to achieve 100% recycled, recyclable or bio-based plastics materials in both its products and packaging by 2030. The iconic Fisher-Price Rock-a-Stack will be made from sugarcane-based plastics and packaged in 100% recycled or sustainably sourced material.

Green Bear has partnered with Wood Trick to distribute its range of wooden toys. The 3D mechanical wooden kits are crafted using 100% eco-friendly plywood and are offered at a wide range of price points to suit all budgets. To support retailers, Green Bear will be running competitions such as Best Guitar Design and Best Cabriolet Design.

The article also examines how, as well as looking at the materials the toy itself is made from, companies are overhauling packaging to reduce the footprint of some products, with L.O.L. Surprise introducing paper accessory bags and Zuru’s Sparkle Girlz brand integrating more plastic blister-free packaging across the range. Tomy’s Britains Farm in a Box will make the packaging an integral part of the play pattern itself.

With much more detail, and comment from senior executives at the companies mentioned above,  the full article, which was published in the June issue of Toy World, is available if you click here.


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