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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We think it’s important that toy packaging is easy for consumers to recycle. There are a number of pieces of packaging legislation which our members have to comply with for both toy safety and the environment. We have produced guidance to help our members increase the recycled content in packaging as well as comply with relevant legislation.
BTHA Environmental Studies
To support our sustainability work and ongoing commitment to reduce our industry’s environmental impact we commission independent research.