The Toy Association Statement on Packaging / Environmental Sustainability

Though toys comprise less than 1 percent of the typical household waste stream, there is an industry-wide understanding that everyone has a role to play in support of sustainability.

For more than 15 years, The Toy Association has worked with its toy company members to improve the industry’s commitment to environmental protection. These companies pledge to consider the environmental impact of their products and activities while continuing to provide safe, quality merchandise that meets customer and consumer needs.

In addition, the toy industry supports efforts to educate consumers to minimize waste by: (1) using environmentally-conscious strategies such as the recycling of packaging materials, and (2) only buying products appropriate and needed for their family. We support the leveraging of existing recycling infrastructures and encourage consumer curbside collections of recyclable components and packaging, as these are the most efficient means for addressing consumer waste packaging that can be re-used in the production of other products. And we support efforts to create new partnerships and opportunities for innovative products and packages that can be reused or used for new product raw materials.

Members of the toy industry are committed to reducing their environmental impact through packaging reduction and by increasing the use of recycled and bio-materials and renewable energy sources in production.

But packaging also plays a vital role in assuring that a toy reaches the consumer in the same form that it left quality control at a manufacturing site. Tamper-resistant packaging ensures that a product is not lost, broken, or damaged during shipping and display, and that small products or those that have multiple components are received in their intended state and are operational and safe upon purchase.

Packaging also helps to mitigate counterfeiting and theft, and ensures that the consumer clearly understands the intended use and design of the product. Certain elements of toy product packaging ― including age grading, warning labels, and other important safety and usage instructions ― are required by existing regulations and safety standards. Mandates to reduce packaging could jeopardize the placement of vital warnings and could undermine the safe use of certain products.

The Toy Association’s Environmental Sustainability Committee has developed useful tools for members that help drive more sustainable material and packaging choices, as well as to assist in reducing impacts of production processes, and is making significant progress in reducing the environmental impact of Toy Association events such as the North American International Toy Fair.

This statement was reaffirmed by The Toy Association in October 2017.