Temu – you’re cancelled. By me anyway. I’d heard about you and checked you out online. It wasn’t long before I started buying heaps of your plastic snap-together puzzles, a tiny plastic farmyard set and a plastic pet shop with plastic pets. It didn’t stop there. Next, I bought two look-alike Barbie Dolls and wardrobes full of clothes and accessories that included tiny clothes hangers, shoes for every occasion, jewellery and even more tiny things.

Plastic, plastic and more plastic

When my first order arrived, I couldn’t believe how lightweight it was. It came in a plastic post bag. Inside, there was a plastic snap-lock bag wrapped in bubble wrap with the plastic tiny toys inside the snap lock bag. Seriously, why so much plastic? Why not a nice little cardboard box?

No box? No problem!  I’ll play with the toys!

My four-year-old granddaughter, Alana, played for hours with Chocolate Longhair and Purple Grape, changing their clothes and doing their hair with the tiny plastic shampoo bottles, hair dryer and brushes and combs. But then I started thinking: where have the missing shoes gone? Has her fifteen-month-old baby brother eaten them? Many a time, I’ve extracted a shoe out of his mouth.

I started thinking ….

And then, what am going to do with all this rubbish when the grandchildren are too old to play with it? No doubt, it’ll add to the   2.5 million tonnes of plastic waste is generated in Australia each year. I recently came across some shocking statistics: 80% of kids’ toys end up in landfills. Not only that, there is so much plastic in the oceans that it’s contributing to the formation of new islands in the Pacific Ocean. These islands are created entirely from plastic that we have thrown out.  

A few boxes and they’ll be entertained for days

While it’s true that plastic toys are durable and easy to clean, it’s worth asking: why do kids need so many toys these days anyway? I’ve seen rooms overflowing with toys, yet kids often don’t play with them for long. They’d rather play with the packaging, mostly different size boxes that promote hours or even days of creative play. And the best thing is they are biodegradable. We need to rethink our approach to children’s toys: are they built to last, kind to the planet, and not destined to become another plastic island?

I was wondering …

How does plastic end up in the oceans?

Read here: https://www.wwf.org.uk/updates/how-does-plastic-end-ocean

Featured image and image gallery photos taken by author. C’est moi!



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