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  • Tarryn Myburgh

Do you really need that new toy?

Have you ever walked into the shopping mall, spotted a new doll and bought it without even thinking about it?

We become so excited to buy toys for our children, finding ourselves wanting to buy new things all the time. We forget that this doll isn't your daughter's second doll. Instead, it's actually her eighth doll to add to the collection. We justify it by saying things like 'Oh, but this one has a hair styling kit' or suggesting it represents our love. Ask yourself, do toys really represent love?

A collection of female dolls standing
A collection of dolls

Toys are made of plastic

Did you ever notice what toys are made of? We become so excited by new things, we forget that we are actually adding to waste and effecting the environment. But why are toys made of plastic?

Kid playing with plastic toys
Kid playing with plastic toys

  1. It's cheap

  2. It's easy to clean

  3. Don't rust or rot

  4. It's lightweight

But plastic is bad for the environment and it isn't biodegradable. Don't believe me? Check out how this selfless sea swimmer is looking for a home for hundreds of plastic toys which he has found on Co Wexford beaches over the summer. Plastic toys have a negative impact, often having shorter life spans than high-quality toys and are pretty much impossible to recycle.

Toys need to be recycled

The environment is a very topical at the moment. From global warming, to destroying habitats and filling our earth with waste. We are constantly impacting the world we live in. Toys are in fact no different. Sadly, it is still common for kids to outgrow, lose interest or break toys, and for those toys to simply be thrown away. As a busy parent, your first thought is not always: How can I recycle my child’s toys? Or where can I donate them to? Or would another child get use out of them?

70 % of toys that are thrown away are still in great condition. According to Plastics, 90 percent of all toys on the market are made of plastic

So what do you do?

Preloved toys are the answer

garage sale against fence selling toys
Toys at a garage sale

Let's be honest, the manufacturing of toys and the materials they are made of isn't changing any time soon. This doesn't mean there is nothing we can do. It means we need to trade, swap and donate toys. Check out what Joy of Giving are doing, finding givers and receivers, matching toys and giving preloved toys new homes.

You can make a difference by buying preloved toys instead of new toys


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