plastic packaging is wasteful
“How are they getting away with this??” 

That was Ziggy’s question as I returned from the Spielwarenmesse, the Nuremberg international toy fair.  One of the perks of doing trade shows is the chance to go home with a couple of cool pressies for the kids - and so, there I was with gifts for Ziggy, my now 14 year old.  He is the namesake, and very much the boss of Dr Zigs , and he is the reason I started the company. 

This year I took three gifts home to Ziggy.  Two of these toys, whilst being fantastic in themselves, AND mostly made of natural materials, were however encased in plastic packaging. 

As I gave Ziggy the toys, and as he said thank you, he got to work on opening the packs - and that was his exclamation and exasperation.

“How are they getting away with this??”

Indeed.  How are we, toy companies, getting away with this.  

Our kids are not fools.  They are all aware of climate change, of climate breakdown, of our climate emergency.  For them it’s really simple.  There are fires, there is flooding, there are species extinctions, there are huge climate events and we need to fix it.  

And Ziggy’s question just hit me - yes, it is about us as toy companies making changes, but it is also about legislation.  We shouldn’t be allowed to get away with this. 

In France, thanks to the AGEC law (Loi relative à la lutte contre le gaspillage et à l'économie circulaire - or the law relating to the fight against waste and towards a circular economy), this packaging is becoming illegal.  It is single use, can serve no other purpose and is deemed ‘unecessary’, the plastic is not universally recyclable, nor is it made from recycled materials. 

This legislation is already impacting our toy industry, and it shows quite how powerful law can be.

In Ziggy’s words:

“It is people in power that need to make the changes, because for us, the things we can do as citizens has minimal impact.  It definitely shouldn’t be the responsibility of the customer, or the children who have to pester their parents, to save the world.  There are easier and cheaper alternatives and technology.  It just needs to be put into practice”

Out of the mouths of babes.  For me and my company, yes it is about the law (indeed separate French legislation on vegetable printing inks has fast forwarded further change in our packaging), but it is also about the kids. 

Last year at Dr Zigs we launched our first 100% plastic free toy.  I’m really proud of this.  But also proud that I can look Ziggy in the eye.  

He’s a mighty tough boss, and a child, like most children out there, with some pretty high expectations.  Let’s live up to them.
Bubble crewChanging the worldChangingtheworldonebubbleatatimeClimate crisisEco friendlyEnvironmental policy

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