(Click on the images at the bottom of the page for advice on passing toys on safely)

Toy Packaging

About 72-73% of toy packaging is being recycled according to a 2012 report. Approximately 89% of toy and hobby packaging is paper and board and should be able to be recycled, depending on the collections in any given area. The BTHA has advice available on how to recycle as much packaging as possible, particularly at busy times of the year like birthdays and Christmas, in order to maximise the level of toy packaging that is being recycled in kerbside collections. We are happy for this information to be widely disseminated. Members are free to use this guidance on their own websites or in communications.

Toy Reuse

The British Toy and Hobby Association’s members sign a commitment each year to make efforts to reduce the impact of their businesses on the environment. To help members to do this the BTHA has undertaken studies and produced guidance and tools to try to understand what that impact might be and to help members to fulfil their membership commitment.

The BTHA has undertaken studies to try to understand how often toys are reused, passed on or stored away for the future.

Our study of 2000 parents shows that 70% of people pass toys on when their children have finished playing with them with 62% giving them to friends or family and 39% giving them to charity. 31% of parents said that they stored their toys away, either as collectibles or to share with others.

60% of parents said their children had received handed down toys and 45% said they are happy to pass on toys that were passed to their children. We know from follow up detailed studies with parents that they regularly sort through toy collections to decide what to store, keep in the collection or dispose of and that this is normally done with their children. A popular time of the year is during September / October when children are going back to school and Christmas is on its way.

Pre-school and baby toys are the two most likely age categories to be passed on to others although parents state that they self-edit the toys and would not pass on baby toys such as soothers for reasons of hygiene. 57% of parents say that they passed toys on for others to enjoy and 23% report they passed them on for environmental reasons.

The greatest factor which would encourage people to pass toys on would be easier access to facilities that accept used toys or knowing what to do with them when having a clear out.

Some ways for parents to clear out toys could be;

To raise money for a child’s school by having a bring and buy sale. A child may have grown too old for a toy but it still has play value for the younger children at the school.

Secret Santa with friends – wrap up a present that your child has finished with and swap it for one their friend has finished with. Lots of fun and enjoyment from a “new” toy and no environmental cost.

Give them to a charity – The BTHA supports Barnardo’s as a charity that welcomes used toys. Barnardo’s is the UK’s biggest children’s charity, supporting the UK’s most vulnerable children and young people. Every year, Barnardo’s helps transform the lives of more than 200,000 children, young people and their families.  Barnardo’s has shops around the country which help to fund this vital work. Barnardo’s welcome good quality toys that they can sell; the profits of which help them to care for disadvantaged children in the UK and abroad. For those without a Barnardo’s shop near them we would advise to check with other local charity shops.

Do be aware that selling toys on may give you the responsibility for the safety of the toy.

In order to pass toys on, and indeed for children to enjoy handed down toys, they should be in good condition in order to ensure they are safe to play with. The BTHA has come up with tips on how to pass toys on safely to encourage more toys to be passed on. In order to maximise the life of toys we try to widely disseminate this advice. Members are welcome to use or share this advice and can recieve the tips from natasha@btha.co.uk.

Click on the images below to open a full sized image of the tips…….

                 Tips on receiving reused toys                                                     Tips when passing toys on                                                    Tips when unwrapping toys

receiving toys safely

Tips when passing toys on

Tips when unwrapping toys