BTHA Guidance

Environmental

Environmental

Promoting environmental sustainability is a core part of our work at the BTHA. Our members make an annual commitment to reduce their environmental impact across product and packaging design, production and distribution wherever possible. To help our members achieve environmental best practice we provide comprehensive guidance and advice across a variety of environmental issues.

BTHA Plastic Packaging Tax Guidance Video

Sustainability in Toys

We recognise the need for toy manufacturers to work to reduce their environmental impact. Our members are committed to having a positive impact on the planet and show this ongoing commitment through initiatives to reduce waste by recycling and reusing, but also to build more sustainable materials into packaging and products.

  

Sustainability in Toys

We recognise the need for toy manufacturers to work to reduce their environmental impact. Our members are committed to having a positive impact on the planet and show this ongoing commitment through initiatives to reduce waste by recycling and reusing, but also to build more sustainable materials into packaging and products.

We commissioned a study in 2012 to investigate the levels of toy and hobby packaging. Approximately 0.7% of retail packaging that enters the home comes from toy and hobby products and it is estimated that 90% of toy packaging could be recycled, of which 72-73% presently is. Toy packaging has a critical function as primarily it is there to protect toys and ensure that children have undamaged, safe toys to play with when they receive them. Toy packaging must also carry important safety information, a legal requirement of all EU toy companies.

When we look into the impact of toys on the environment, we also look into the life of a toy. Toys are a relatively unique consumer good as they are often reused, passed on or stored away compared to other product categories due to their considerable emotional and sentimental value. A study we undertook in 2012 to understand this behaviour showed that 70% of people pass toys on when they finish playing with them, with 62% giving them to family or friends, and 39% giving them to a charity. We found that the main barrier to passing on toys was people not knowing how to pass them on safely.

An updated study we undertook in 2019 suggested that 75% of people now passed on toys to family and friends when they finished playing with them, 64% gave them to charity (particularly among middle aged parents with more than one child) and 32% now sold them online (compared to 21% in 2012).  Parents were more likely to pass on toys so that other children could enjoy them and to clear space. As in 2012, parents said they would pass on more toys if there was easy access to places that accepted them, if toys were more durable and if they had more information about where and how to pass on toys safely.

Extending the life of toys through reuse enables toys to circulate for longer which has a positive impact on the environment. To help consumers pass on more toys, we have created our top tips to help consumers pass toys on safely.

        Top tips when passing on reused toys

Top tips on receiving reused toys

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Getting to grips with sustainability

We want to help all businesses, large and small, to reduce any negative environmental impacts of their business. To do this we have created guidance to illustrate the importance of sustainable business practices as well as creating a practical guide for small and medium sized companies to help them start the journey to minimise their environmental footprint.

  

Getting to grips with sustainability

We want to help all businesses, large and small, to reduce any negative environmental impacts of their business. To do this we have created guidance to illustrate the importance of sustainable business practices as well as creating a practical guide for small and medium sized companies to help them start the journey to minimise their environmental footprint.

A Guide to Toy Sustainability

Sustainability Compendium

Environmental Impact Assessment

Green Claims

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European Sustainability Requirements

Toy companies have to comply with various sustainability directives and regulations in the European Union. The requirements cover issues such as sourcing sustainable materials, as well as producer responsibility obligations for preparing batteries, electrical and electronic goods for recycling and reuse. We have produced a number of guidance documents to help our members understand and comply with these regulations.

  

Sustainability Directives

Toy companies have to comply with various sustainability directives and regulations in the European Union. The requirements cover issues such as sourcing sustainable materials, as well as producer responsibility obligations for preparing batteries, electrical and electronic goods for recycling and reuse. We have produced a number of guidance documents to help our members understand and comply with these regulations.

French requirements

BTHA French Triman Guide

WEEE Regulation

WEEE Open Scope

WEEE scope decision tree

Guidance Categories for WEEE Reporting

EU Timber Regulations

EU Timber Regulations

Batteries & Accumulators

Safety - Battery and Accumulators Guide

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UK Sustainability Requirements

In addition to European regulations, there are a number of UK-only requirements which toy companies have to comply with. Rather than product and packaging, these rules cover companies’ energy use. We have produced a number of guidance documents to help our members understand and comply with these regulations.

  

UK Sustainability requirements

In addition to European regulations, there are a number of UK-only requirements which toy companies have to comply with. Rather than product and packaging, these rules cover companies’ energy use. We have produced a number of guidance documents to help our members understand and comply with these regulations.

Greenwashing

The future of WEEE in the UK – BTHA summary

SUMMARY OF THE EU COMMISSION EPR GUIDANCE

GUIDANCE to the EU Commission on implementing EPR

Energy Savings Opportunities Scheme (ESOS)

Comply Direct Guide - ESOS Phase 2

Comply Direct Guide - Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) Fact Sheet

Comply Direct Guide - Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) Service Options

Comply Direct Guide - WEEE Open Scope Fact Sheet

Comply Direct Guide - WEEE Exemptions & Exclusions Fact Sheet

Greenhouse Gas Reporting

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Packaging

In the UK, there are packaging regulations that affect toy companies. The regulations governing the recycling and recovery of used packaging is being radically revised, and through the Environment Bill, the government is introducing Extended Producer Responsibility Scheme in 2023. We have produced guidance for members to help them comply with the regulations, as well as supporting members to move towards more sustainable packaging.

  

Packaging

In the UK, there are several packaging regulations that affect toy companies. These are covered in law by:

  • Packaging (Essential Requirements) Regulation
  • Producer Responsibility (Packaging Waste) Regulation
  • Plastic Packaging Tax

The regulations governing the recycling and recovery of used packaging is being radically revised, and through the Environment Bill, the government is introducing Extended Producer Responsibility Schemes in 2023. This includes making producers responsible for the full net cost of managing packaging once it becomes waste, setting more ambitious targets for producers, and introducing clear and consistent labelling for recyclability. These changes will have an impact on the choice of packaging systems used for goods, and on the costs imposed on producers and importers.

The BTHA is involved in representing our members’ interests to government and provides support and guidance to help members comply with changing regulation.

Minimising the Costs of Producer Responsibility Compliance - Packaging, Electricals/electronics and batteries

Packaging changes 2019/2020

Quick reference guide to toy packaging

Design tips for sustainable packaging

Dealing with special packaging requests

Packaging essential requirements

UK On-Pack Recycling Label

The Green Dot Model

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BTHA Environmental Studies

To support our sustainability work and ongoing commitment to reduce our industry’s environmental impact we commission independent research.

  

BTHA Environmental Studies

To support our sustainability work and ongoing commitment to reduce our industry’s environmental impact we commission independent research.

Packaging Research

Toy Reuse Research 2012

Toy Reuse Research 2019

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