Recycling and Toy Over-Packaging Presented By: Northwood’s Green School Committee
November 15th is America Recycles Day America Recycles Day is a nationally recognized day dedicated to encouraging Americans to recycle and to buy recycled products. • Reducing waste and Recycling helps protect our resources, our environment and our quality of life • Did you know that the average American throws away 4.6 pounds of garbage every day. That’s a lot of garbage! All of this garbage goes mostly to landfills where it is compacted and buried and where it sits for a very long time. • In support of America Recycles Day, and because Northwood is a Michigan Green School, we decided to come in to talk about recycling and to discuss a letter writing project about toy over-packaging. Northwood students can make a difference!
What can be recycled in the classroom? Almost all paper products can be recycled in the classroom: • Recycle these items: • All types of writing paper • Scraps of paper and post-it notes (no matter how small they are) • Envelopes • All colors of paper • Any kind of cardboard including poster board and boxes • Folders • Kleenex boxes • Do not recycle these items: • Paper towels • Napkins • Kleenex or tissues Just place recyclable items in the classroom paper bin!
What can be recycled in the cafeteria? A lot of items that you are packing your lunch can be recycled in the cafeteria: Plastic Containers yogurt, pudding & fruit containers juice & water bottles Lunchables containers Cardboard Containers juice boxes milk cartons & milk boxes Aluminum Containers lemonade or pop cans Capri Sun pouches Just place recyclable items in the appropriate recycle bin!
Why is all of that packaging bad? • Excess packaging causes excess carbon emissions from the factories that make it • The more paper and cardboard we use the more trees need to be cut down. Trees absorb carbon dioxide when they’re alive. • Logging wood for paper mills destroys the habitats of endangered species and destroys essential eco-systems. • Excess packaging adds to toy weight and size which takes more effort and fuel to transport. • If the toy packaging is not properly recycled or cannot be recycled, it ends up in landfills where it sits and sits and sits • Plastic can take thousands of years to break down in a landfill and some plastics may never break down • Cardboard can take anywhere from two months to 3 years to break down in a landfill • An organization in the United Kingdom, called Green Sword, predicted that Christmas toy packaging would generate 800,000 tonnes of waste in one year. That is more than 1.7 billion pounds! And the United States has 5 times more people than the United Kingdom.
What you can do • Take a look at how your favorite toys are packaged • If you think the toy company uses too much packaging, this is what you can do: • Write a letter and tell the toy companies what you think • Tell them what your favorite toy is • Tell them what you think about the way it is packaged and include ideas for reducing the packaging, you can even draw a picture of how it could be packaged • Explain how the extra packaging makes you feel and how it impacts the environment • If enough kids complain and refuse to buy toys with excessive packaging, the companies will have to make a change • Recycle as much packaging as you can • Did you know that most people don’t recycle toy packaging? • The plastic and cardboard used in toy packaging can be recycled by simply placing it in your family’s recycle bin after opening the toy • When making up your Christmas list this holiday season, select toys that have less packaging • Look for packaging with recycling information on it
Who you can write to Mattel Neil Friedman President Mattel Brands 333 Continental Blvd. El Segundo, CA 90245 Mattel Toy Lines: American Girl Little People Avatar Loving Family Doll House Barbie Matchbox Batman My Scene Blokus Polly Pocket Blues Clues Power Wheels Disney Scene It Diva Starz Sesame Street Dora SpongeBob SquarePants Easy Bake Oven Thumbelina Fisher-Price Tyco Geo Trax View-Master Hot Wheels Winnie the Pooh Justice League X-Games finger Sports Hasbro John Fascotti Chief Marketing Officer Hasbro 1027 New Port Ave. Pawtucket, RI 02862 Hasbro Toy Lines: Baby Alive Mr. Potato Head Disney My Little Pony Electronic Catch Phrase Nerf FurReal Friends Operation Fantastic Four Play-Doh GI Joe Playskool High School Musical Spiderman Hungry Hungry Hippos Star Wars I-Dog Super Soaker Iron Man Tonka Littlest Pet Shop Transformers
How your letter might look about the environment and hope that my letter will make you think about ways to package toys in more environmentally friendly packaging. Can you please write me back to let me know what Hasbro is doing to reduce toy packaging. Sincerely, Jon Bryson Mrs. Paradiso’s 4th Grade Class Northwood Elementary School Royal Oak, Michigan November 13th, 2009 Dear Mr. Fascotti, Star Wars toys are my favorite toys, but I don’t like how they are packaged in so much plastic and cardboard. When I got a Darth Vadar action figure for my birthday, it took me 10 minutes to open the package and I couldn’t believe how much packaging was wasted on such a small toy. It is bad for the environment and it must cost a lot of money to add so much packaging. I was thinking that there must be a better way to package the toy, maybe in a smaller cardboard box that can more easily be recycled than all of that plastic. I am concerned
How your letter might look things Mattel is doing to reduce waste in packaging. I am going to be looking at the packaging on toys when I write my Christmas list this year. Sincerely, Dana Nathan Mrs. Villerot’s 2nd Grade Class Northwood Elementary School Royal Oak, Michigan November 13th, 2009 Dear Mr. Friedman, I love Polly Pocket dolls, but don’t like how they are sometimes packaged in such large packages with so much wasted plastic and cardboard. I really like the new packaging that you have made that puts the Polly Pocket dolls and clothing in strips. It generates less waste and is much better for the environment. Do you think that you can design packaging like that for other toys so that you can help protect our environment? I love playing with your toys, but don’t like to think of all of the packaging that ends up in landfills. Please write me back to let me know what other