War on Waste: One Toy At A Time.

Published: 07th March 2018

Most of us relate to the feeling when you buy your child a toy they 'really wanted' only to find it in the garden, tossed aside and sadly neglected, a week later, literally gathering moss.

And, to make matters worse, most of us already know that these briefly and once-loved toys eventually end up in landfill.

Sunrise - Ditch the toys and give experiences for Christmas. from MyBestGift on Vimeo.

According to Planet Ark, at least 20 percent of what's in our household rubbish bins should really be in recycle bins and many of us are making a range of recycling mistakes.

One of the most common errors is putting 'soft' plastics, such as food packaging and plastic bags in the recycling bin along with all your other plastic containers.

Our recycling systems aren't sophisticated enough to sort out the soft from hard plastics so the soft plastics get stuck in the conveyer belt, which slows down the recycling system.

Here are simple rules to follow when it comes to plastic:

  1. You can put all plastic bottles in the recycling bin but it's best to remove the lids.
  2. You can put all plastic containers into the recycling bin, including takeaway containers and plastic fruit punnets
  3. Hard plastic trays can be recycled but not polystyrene trays.

When it comes to toys and efforts to reduce waste, more and more libraries are asking families to donate toys they no longer want. One example is the Darwin Toy Library, which is trying to reduce the amount of plastic in our lives by encouraging people to donate and then borrow toys for a short time before returning them – instead of constantly buying new plastic toys.

Toy Libraries Australia is the not-for-profit peak body for more than 280 community-run toy libraries around Australia. Staff member Sharna Ellington told the ABC toy libraries are passionate about working towards the reduction of environmental waste.

"Toy library members are able to borrow age-appropriate toys for their children instead of buying them and then throwing them away when their kids outgrow them," Sharna says.

Anyone who saw the ABC’s series ‘War on Waste’ would be horrified at the amount of wastage that occurs throughout the world. Once you’ve had a look at the items filling up your outdoor bins, you can start giving yourself manageable goals.

  1. Reduce the amount of plastic toys you buy for your kids and their friends (My Best Gift is all about reducing wastage and allowing people to purchase an experience as a gift instead of yet another plastic toy!)
  2. Use a ‘Keep Cup’ instead of a throwaway cup.
  3. Only use a small rubbish bin; this will force you to think about how you’ll fit excess packaging and plastics into one small container/bucket or bin.
  4. Teach yourself to make your own beauty products: instead of buying some new moisturiser, google for natural remedies that you can make at home and keep it in a glass jar.
  5. Buy a reusable mesh fruit and vegetable bag for your next grocery run.

If we all make a commitment to reducing wastage, however small it might be, we’re going to eventually make a huge difference.

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