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Why Wooden Toys? The Environmental Impact of Toys + The Dangers of Plastic Toys

Why Wooden Toys?

Research shows that simplistic toys are best for children's cognitive development, as they encourage imaginative play and utilization of problem-solving skills. This paired with their long-lasting quality and attractive appearance make wooden toys desirable - but these aren't the only reasons we believe in wooden toys for children. 

 

The Environmental Impact of Toys

“The toy industry is the most plastic intensive industry in the world”.

- UNEP report 2014 “Valuing plastics”

 

In their 2021 article, "Environmental impact of toys," Theworldcount.com notes

"The toy industry uses 40 tons of plastic for every $1 million in revenues and is the most plastic-intensive industry in the world. 90% of the toys on the market are made of plastic." 

The mass-production of plastics used to manufacture most modern-day toys heavily pollutes the environment. Similarly, plastic toys have a shorter lifespan than wooden toys - so more plastic toys means more toys purchased overall and more toy-related waste. 

 

Harmful Chemicals in Your Baby's Toys?

Studies have shown that children who mouth plastic toys absorb dangerous chemicals into their bodies. Alarming, isn't it? We all know how babies love to put things in their mouths!

In the article "Environmental impact of toys," theworldcount.com says the following:

"Soft plastic toys may contain more than 40 percent phthalates by weight. Phthalates have been linked to a number of reproductive health effects, including reduced fertility, miscarriage, birth defects, abnormal sperm counts, and testicular damage, as well as to liver and kidney cancer.

In a test of 248 different toys, 92% were categorised as a “serious risk” due to the content of hazardous chemicals such as phthalates." 

 

Child Labor & Modern-Day Slavery

"There are an estimated 168 million children in child labour and 21 million people in forced labour across the world today" -antislavery.org

 

So What Can YOU Do to Make a Difference?

Opt for toys that are sustainably and ethically made. Avoid toys made with traditional plastics, especially for babies who still explore toys with their mouths. When choosing any toys, regardless of where they are manufactured, look for companies that are  labeled as CPSC safety compliant - this ensures they have undergone the necessary safety testing for use by babies and toddlers!

At Abel's Workshop, we are proud to offer an affordable selection of safe, sustainable, chemical-free wooden toys that are ethically manufactured in the United States and Europe. Our toys are built to last, and we are constantly working to keep our business practices sustainable. 

By supporting our business and opting for sustainably and ethically made toys, you are making a difference for our planet, and for other people around the world. 

 

 

SOURCES FOR THIS ARTICLE

"Environmental Impact of Toys" 2021. https://www.theworldcounts.com/challenges/consumption/other-products/environmental-impact-of-toys/story

https://www.csgtalent.com/blog/2019/09/will-future-toy-industry-plastic-free

https://www.sustainabilityconsortium.org/wp-content/themes/enfold-child/assets/pdf/insights/toys-plastic-toys-insights.pdf

https://www.antislavery.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/products_of_slavery_and_child_labour_2016.pdf