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Dinosaur Toys and Single Use Plastic
- Gaynor Humphrey
Like many people we have resolved to reduce our use of single use plastics both on a personal and a business level. And like most people we have struggled to achieve the changes we want to make happen! However 6 months on from our original decision we are pleased to say that we have made some progress and made one big, brave decision.
Our natural rubber toys are a great alternative to plastic. They have all the play value of plastic but are both ethical and environmentally friendly. Our natural rubber Dinosaur toys have been very popular so we are now expanding this range to include new designs. First up will be our new natural rubber bus and pigeon toys which will hopefully be here by Xmas. However we have also been looking at introducing other non plastic toys to complement our ranges. We have wanted to develop wooden toys for many years and the opportunity arose in early 2019 to take on a fair trade supplier who had been badly affected by the troubles at Traidcraft.
We have been working with them since the beginning of the year and we are proud to say that our first range of wooden toys will be here in September. The initial range will include wooden dinosaur toys, a wooden bus, a wooden rainbow and a gorgeous clock puzzle. Depending on feedback we aim to develop more wooden dinosaur toys to sit with the rest of our dinosaur toys so fingers crossed you love them!
We have one particular and very obvious issue with our packaging and that is the plastic bags that we put on each and every one of our dinosaur toys. Our original thought was that we would start packing the dinosaur toys in to 3s or 6s and introducing a pack quantity when ordering. However our website has proved the sticking point for this. We have spent at least 6 months trying to find ways to find a way of increasing the pack quantity of our dinosaur toys on the website as when we developed the new website we had specifically asked to have no pack quantities. It appears that introducing pack quantities now is very complicated and would cost us £000s to change the code.
So we have decided just to remove all the plastic bags on our dinosaur toys. Our plan is that within the next 6-9 months all of our core dinosaurs will come without their individual plastic bags. We can do this because we have been working with our partner in China for decades, he is fabulous, and his factory is spotless which eliminates the problem of the toys getting dirty before they are packed. We will then have one big plastic bag inside each box to ensure that the dinosaurs will not get wet in transit and apart from that they will be plastic free.
There are a lot of details which still have to be agreed including the timetable for when the new stock will arrive but we are committed to making it happen and hope that you will support our move.
If we say so ourselves we have made huge progress on a personal level. All of us now use bar soap instead of liquid hand soap and that was very easy to do. We also have moved to bar soap instead of shower gel which was harder and half of us use bar shampoo instead normal shampoo which takes a lot of trial and error to find one which works for your hair. Food packaging is next on our list of things to tackle as we try to avoid fruit and veg which individually wrapped. It really helps that all of us are doing this together so we can chat about different issues and compare brands so we would definitely recommend ganging up with friends if/when you make the leap.
How are you getting on with reducing single use plastic? Have you been daunted by the complexity of it all or are you a pioneer in plastic free living? We would love to hear your tips and advice it you are!