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Sustainable Toys: An Evolving Landscape

Customers and companies in the consumer products sector, including products like toys and childcare articles, are paying more attention than ever to the question of sustainability.

Sustainable Toys: An Evolving Landscape

June 8, 2020

Sustainability is now a key aspect in our daily lives. Being sustainable is no longer just a plus, it’s a crucial business factor. There’s no time to wait so many companies are seeking expert advice.

A plan for sustainability is now an integral part of global business strategy. Companies are looking to implement innovative sustainable approaches to respond to increasing demand for products that respect the environment as much as possible.

In the world of toys, which are often designed to be short-lived and made of petroleum-based plastics, there is urgency to act.

About 75% of the world’s toys are made in China*. That means most of the toys sold in the rest of the world have traveled great distances to get to our homes. The carbon load of travel alone is already a major environmental impact.

In addition, toys often generate significant packaging waste including wraps, plastic bags and ties. These items are discarded before the toy is used. There are other barriers that could hinder sustainability, including the production materials, consumption patterns and the end-of-life paths of these articles.

These are only some of the reasons why applying sustainability to the toy industry can be a challenge. Despite this, there are signs of progress. Some companies are choosing a different path including:

  • Environmentally preferable materials in products
  • More sustainable packaging for toys and reduced packaging overall
  • Broader sustainability initiatives such as carbon management and waste reduction in the product process

Some international and cross-sectorial working groups are also paving the way, making improvements to processes or developing new standards for sustainability.

If you’re ready to put your company on the path toward more sustainable toys and childcare products, UL can help. Contact us to learn more how we can support you in improving sustainability.



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