Removing Single Use Bags from our Knitted Dinosaur Toys

The gap between wanting to do something good and actually doing it can sometimes be paper thin, and this is especially true when you run a small business.

When David Attenborough’s documentaries came out in 2018 we were as horrified as everyone and we knew we wanted to be part of the solution when it came to single use plastic bags.
We looked at both our personal and our business lives to see where we could stop using single use plastic bags which led us to make personal changes such as using bar soap instead of shower gel and hand soap and glass milk bottles instead of plastic cartons.

However given that we sell tens of thousands of dinosaur toys every year we knew the biggest impact we could make was to remove the bags we had on our dinosaur toys. That was our intention at the beginning of the year but every large action involves lots of small decisions and these decisions sometimes mean that we get bogged down by the detail and never actually do anything. In our case we regarded ourselves as working methodically through the issues - Could we use different bags, perhaps of recycled plastic? Should we run both bagged and unbagged toys etc – when in fact we were allowing ourselves to be stuck in a morass of detail instead of actually doing something about the problem. When a debate about new product codes and barcodes on your dinosaur toys stops you from doing what’s right you need to find a way to cut back to the reason why you are doing it.

For us it took a big shove from a couple of our Independent retailers and Museums to push us in to action. In particular a rather horrifying picture of the bags which had just been removed from our latest delivery of dinosaur toys pushed us in to action. It made us remember that one of the best things about being a small toy company rather than a multinational is that we don’t need to get slowed down with meetings and defining all the details. Small companies can do whats right much more quickly as we don’t have the layers of management they need and are therefore a lot closer to our customers and our suppliers. So once the decision had been made we have been able to move very quickly, and we are pleased to tell you that from August all the deliveries of our dinosaur toys coming in to us will be unbagged stock. This includes all our new dinosaurs which will arrive unbagged.

Removing the bags from our dinosaurs has all been about a small business community action. We couldn’t have done it without the support of our customers, and the call to action by some particular retailers.

It shows us what can be done if we give people a nudge in the right direct. Most companies want to be proactive but we can lose sight of the goal in the heap of everyday tasks which constitute a small business.

We think we must be one of the first small businesses to achieve this step, but hopefully just one of many who take the step before the end of the year. If you do one thing today, why don’t you prompt another small business you work with or buy from about their bags? We would be very happy to share our experience of the process and it may be the thing which gets them acting on their single use plastic usage.

 

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