This Christmas, the focus is on eco-friendly toys. After several instances of foreign-made toys being proved toxic and then being recalled, several companies are responding to the consumer demand of having greener toys that are safer for children to play with.
Almost 17 million toys were recalled in 2007 because they violated the federal lead paint standards. The Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) recalled 55,000 units of children’s costume jewelry in January 2010, since they contained high levels of cadmium.
In June 2010, 12 million promotional drinking glasses which were sold at McDonald’s were recalled for having cadmium in the painted coating.
Parents have been increasingly concerned about the safety of the toys and other products that their children are handling, but making a choice is becoming time consuming and stressful, especially with the season for giving upon them.
Several small American businesses are stepping up to the plate to meet this requirement and are trying to figure out how to make the safest, healthiest, greenest toys on a small scale level.
Green Toys, based in San Francisco, uses recycled plastic milk jugs to create a line of classic toys that are packaged in recycled cardboard.
The company now sells its products and toys at 3,000 retail locations and also exports to 12 foreign countries. Green Toys products are sold at stores like Pottery Barn, Barnes & Noble, Whole Foods, Amazon and the Museum of Modern Art.
One of the key points about ensuring eco-friendliness in creating these kinds of products is to make sure that an eco-friendly process is the base. Like Green Toys using recycled plastic rather than making new plastic.
Another green toy company, thirty-five-year-old Hosung NY, based in New York, switched from traditional toy making to create a line of organic plush toys five years ago. The line is called MiYim and is now sold at Target and Babies R Us.
Although organic and green toys can be more expensive than the regular toys, knowing that it is safe for your child and then bringing the concept of recycling and reusing old organic toys can help the industry to grow.
Other small companies that offer green children’s products include Jess Brown Rag Dolls, Rich Frog, Haba Beachwood toy, Eco Time Toys, Lana organic toys, PlanToys, Apple Park and Under the Nile plush toys.
The advantage of having small companies focus on children’s products is that they are better equipped to deal with change, and can switch over to green practices faster and better than a big company can.
They can work closely with the suppliers and also acquire their materials domestically. Production units located in Asian countries are detached from the creation process and are often unsophisticated.