Do you really know why you should be using Eco Friendly Baby Toys?
We all know that we should be using eco friendly products as much as possible in all avenues of our lives. There is a lot in the news and splashed all over social media to make us aware nowadays – but do we all really know the reasons behind why we should be using them?
For parents – there are 2 main reasons you should be looking to go eco:
1. You need to protect your babies and keep them healthy. It’s possible that the toys and products that our babies are using might actually be harmful to them.
2. You need to protect the planet so your babies and your babies babies have a world to actually grow up in. It’s a frightening fact that if we carry on destroying the planet the way we are that at some point it’s not going to exist anymore.
Many baby products on the marketplace today are made from plastic and silicon and making products from these materials have large energy and environmental costs. Microplastics in our environment are a huge concern with so many animals ingesting them – including our babies. Plastic toys will last forever long after you and your children have left the planet these products will still be around causing permanent pollution.
What are Microplastics?
Microplastics are tiny pieces (smaller than your thumbnail) of plastic found in the environment which come from the breakdown of our plastic waste. Basically all the plastic bottles and packaging that we use break up into tiny pieces that stay around forever polluting us and our environment.
Why are Microplastics a Problem?
The main reason microplastics are a concern is they are ingested by animals and humans and eventually they can build up in bodies to such an extent it causes blockages in the digestive system. Eventually these blockages can damage to soft tissue which can eventually cause death.
This is a very brief summary and if you want to learn more about microplastics impact then take a look at The Natural History’s information on microplastics here.
Where do Babies get Microplastics from?
- Breathing – believe it or not the air can have tiny pieces of plastic in it!
- Plastic baby teething toys – when babies bite into the plastic they will be ingesting tiny plastic particles
- Plastic food packaging
- Plastic baby bottles – There have been studies on this – see more on the Guardian website here.
- From their mum - there have been studies that have found microplastics in placentas where the mum has injected microplastics and passed it through to their babies
As you can imagine the list could go on – think about – how many things in your house are made of plastic? Of course it’s hard to avoid it completely and there is no doubting the usefulness and robustness of plastic products for babies. All we would say is – where you can try and use products not made of plastic if it’s at all possible – especially where you baby is likely to put that product in it’s mouth.
So what can you do to make a difference?
Use Rubber Baby Toys instead of Plastic
Tikiri Toys Crab and Dolphin rubber bath toys - part of our ocean buddies collection
Why are rubber toys better than plastic toys?
This one’s easy – plastic is not biodegradable where as rubber is! Rubber is also non-toxic and safe.
How does Rubber Biodegrade and can it be recycled?
As discussed, plastic takes a long time to breakdown- 1000’s upon 1000's of years, if it ever does at all. Rubber on the other hand takes approximately 50 years depending on the type of rubber. Best of all though – it can be recycled and made into something else of use (Think shoes, matting, sports turf etc).
What does biodegrade mean?
Biodegrade is another word for breaking down. It is where a substance is broken down bacteria or another organism. Basically if rubber ended up at landfill it would be broken down and not exist anymore where as plastic more than likely would be around forever.
What are Tikiri Baby Toys made from?
We love our products - but we don’t want them to be around forever. It was therefore important for us as a business to source sustainable materials that have minimal environmental impact whilst also being 100% safe for babies.
Fortunately Tikiri is lucky enough to be based in beautiful Sri Lanka, and we have been growing rubber trees here since the 1800s. We work with small family plantations growing the beautiful Hevea trees that produce the latex that turns to rubber that we use in our collections.
How we extract the Latex to produce Rubber Baby Toys
Latex is obtained from the rubber tree through a process called tapping. It’s a slow process to tap a rubber tree and it must be done by a skilled hand and in a environmentally friendly way so that the tree remains in good health. In addition to taking good care of our trees - we do not add any chemicals or preservatives to the latex to ensure that the material remains as pure as possible.
If you want to learn more about how we source rubber – take a look at our specific blog on this here.
What else do we do to be Eco Friendly?
- Use biodegradable materials that are free from heavy metal, PVC, petroleum and phthalate free
- Use non toxic dyes and pigments that are safe to chew
- Beach cleans and environmental education
- Ethically manufacture our toys in Sri Lanka to minimize our carbon footprint
Our Giant Sculpture with the message - 'Save our beautiful seas'
We hope you enjoyed reading about how you can do your bit to help protect the planet and your babies health (as scary as it is) and also the steps we take in the manufacture of our products.
If you have any questions at all then we would love to hear from you – please contact us here or leave a comment below.