OK - I'm on a rant. Be prepared!
For Easter this year, my son got toys from his Nana. While we don't really need more toys, I understand the need she feels to spoil him. But that's not what's got my panties in knot.
PACKAGING!!! When on Earth will these toy companies get with the program? For one Little Tykes toy truck I had to undo countless pieces of wire holding it onto the cardboard, cut apart tape, peel away two layers of non-recyclable plastic, and in the process, I was stabbed by a piece of wire that wasn't coated on it's end. I am NOT impressed.
My son got a Fisher Price farm - the barn and it's contents were new to him, but not new from the store. That got two thumbs up from me. The truck that accompanied it was by Little Tykes - it's getting a F for it's packaging practices.
Whatever happened to putting the toy in a box with a picture on the front. My son was recently given a vintage Little Tykes schoolbus that someone had purchased years ago and never used. It came in a box - a regular box with an attached lid. I was thrilled! This way you could reuse the box if you wanted to. Yes, there was a little bit of plastic inside (a bag with the little people in it) but not near the packaging they use today.
I have to ask - what does it say about us as consumers that we allow this to happen? That we allow the toy companies to not only influence what our kids think they need - but that we go against our values and buy them - packaging and all! Something's gotta give. If we don't take a stand and tell these companies how we feel, they will continue to do this. Why do we need to see the whole toy before we buy it? A picture on the box used to do the trick, but now we want the whole thing encased in plastic so we can see it all. BAD BAD BAD! Shame on us and shame on the toy companies. (and let me tell you, they aren't the only ones that do this)
I'm tired of a ton of wire, tape, unrecyclable plastic and cardboard that is only fit for recycling. I want a box I can keep that toy in so all the parts stay together. I do NOT want to be throwing away my child's future along with the packaging. It's bad enough all these toys are plastic - but at least we can take care of them and pass them on to other children over and over so they have a useful life.
I'm the first to admit I've bought toys like these - I even have a few in the cupboard to give to my son later in his life - but now I think I'm going to take a stand. I am going to head back to the kid's swapmeets to buy his toys. I'm going to buy him toys without packaging or that are made without all the bad stuff (IKEA - this is where you win with some of your stuff - not all, but some)
And while I'm at it - what is wrong with the Overwaitea / Save On Foods chains? They sell eggs in styrofoam cartons????!!! I applaud their good sense to introduce their Changes centres to help give incentive to people to return packaging for recycling - but they won't touch these. Western Family Eggs - NOT good for the environment. And even those that are in flats are packaged with plastic film that's not recyclable.
This week I'm going to write a letter to Fisher Price, Little Tykes, and Jim Pattison's grocery store chains(again on the last one- they don't bother to reply, either) and tell them just how bad they rate with these products and what I'd like to see (cardboard and recyclable materials at the very least) in the future.
Heck - while you're at it, do the same. Tell all those companies that package things in wasteful ways just how bad they are for the earth. Tell them to change or you won't buy. Money talks and if we all made the choice to avoid until they do right, they would change. They'd have to or else they'd go out of business.
This week - put your pen to paper and your money where you mouth is. Speak up with your words and your pocketbook.