FairKind Child started realising the struggle parents have finding ethical and environmentally-friendly toys. While there are some plastic toys, like construction sets, that are good, it's becoming easier to find better alternatives. When choosing the toys we stock at FKC we consider their impact on the people, communities, and the world, as well as the child who will play with them. Here are a few reasons why we avoid supplying plastic toys to children:
Plastic toys contribute to landfill waste because many of them cannot be recycled. To dispose of them, you would need to dismantle them and separate the different materials. If the toys are still in good condition, you can consider donating them to a charity.
Phthalates are chemicals added to plastic to make it stronger. They have been linked to various health issues such as ADHD, breast cancer, obesity, diabetes, low IQ, neurodevelopmental problems, behavioral issues, autism spectrum disorders, and reproductive development abnormalities. Pregnant women and young children are particularly vulnerable to these chemicals. Even when one harmful phthalate is replaced with another, new health risks can emerge. In contrast, natural materials like cotton, wood, and wool have been used for centuries and are known to be safe for children.
Some companies exporting toys to the EU fail to comply with necessary regulations, resulting in potential health risks. China is a major manufacturer of toys, and while there are fair trade tribes producing excellent toys, mass-produced plastic toys from China can have uncertain production quality. Additionally, China has its own version of the CE mark, known as the China Export mark, which can be difficult to distinguish from the genuine mark. Statistics from Prosafe, a non-profit organization focusing on product safety in the EEA, show that rattles and push-along toys were among the least compliant with legal toy regulations.