Toys for future: parents wish sustainable toys for their children
1 Dec 2020
Haba increasingly uses biologically degradable plastics. ©Koelnmesse
Sustainability is a societal mega-trend. In the meantime, one also encounters it in the children's, whether with textiles, furniture or toys. An ever increasing number of parents wish for playthings that are not only colourful, but are also ecologically unobjectionable, fairly produced and durable.
The chances for this are good. In the face of pollution loads and large quantities of packaging waste, an ever increasing number of parents are searching for sustainable alternatives: for playthings that are unobjectionable in health and ecological terms, are durable, recyclable and repairable. Fair working conditions in production are also an important criterion.
The "Thunberg Effect" is changing the toy industry
Rethinking among consumers is changing the industry. "The Greta Thunberg Effect has arrived in the German toy industry", Ulrich Brobeil, managing director of the German association for the toy industry (DVSI), emphasises. A survey carried out by his association shows that 62 percent of manufacturers ascribe "high to very high" importance to the theme. Here, the focus is primarily on ecological sustainability: less packaging, lower energy consumption, no pollutants.
Many toy manufacturers in the meantime process wood from sustainable forestry and test innovative materials. Haba , Schleich and Luckys Naturally , for example, increasingly use biologically degradable plastics, which are primarily based on renewable raw materials, for example, wood chips, corn or cane sugar instead of on crude oil.
Lego has set major goals. The Danish corporation has founded its own Sustainable Materials Center for researching sustainable materials, from which nearly all building blocks and packaging should be produced by 2030. Up to now, however, the share of these products still lies in a single-digit percentage range.
Classic building blocks are very much a role model in terms of sustainability. ©echtkind
Sustainable toys offer ever new play experiences
Nonetheless, Lego blocks, just like classic building blocks, are very much a role model in terms of sustainability: because they seldom break and are so durable that they can easily be handed down to the next generation. Most importantly, however, they do not bring a prefabricated world of play into the children's room, but instead offer new play experiences. With the colourful blocks, the offspring can build creative things – without specifications that limit their imagination. This also applies, for example, to the ecological building blocks from echtkind , biobuddi and other manufacturers, as well as for the solid wood screw set from Walter, with which the little ones can tinker for hours.
Sustainable toys are no throw-away articles. They accompany children over a longer period of time and promote their development. Some focus on the theme of sustainability, even in a playful and child-appropriate way: for example, the Nachzieh Recycling Truck from EverEarth , with which the little ones learn something about recycling and trash separation.
We are already very much looking forward to seeing how the market for sustainable toys will continue to develop and which new products will appear in 2021!