Entry Title: "
Category: Professional, Product
Designer(s): gerard furbershaw
The objective of the project was to create compelling, durable, sustainable and safe toys for a young set of buyers (ages 6 months and up) that would encourage play, age appropriate learning and stimulation. The team selected building blocks, stacking rings, and a play-and-pour bath boat as foundational elements for this line of products.
Green Toys Inc., as the name implies, has chosen to manufacturer its toys domestically using sustainable design principles. This is incredibly unique for the toy industry as over the last two decades, a mass exodus of manufacturing and supply chain activities to China to reduce costs has occurred. Unfortunately, product safety and accountability in China are lax at best. We have all read news stories about high lead content in toys imported from China. In addition, those toys have to be shipped from Asia requiring the use of more energy and the creation of a larger carbon footprint.
With municipalities ramping up their recycling programs, post-consumer recycled plastics are becoming available at reasonable costs. Green Toys employs a closed loop model utilizing 100% recycled high-density polyethylene (HDPE) milk jugs from the California municipal curbside recycling system. Not only is recycled HDPE being used, the HDPE toys can be recycled as well.
As toys quickly find their way into toddlers hands and mouths, parents look at them the way they look at foods. They want to know whats in them and where they come from. The recycled HDPE used in Green Toys products meets FDA standards for food contact. The plastic meets all state and federal requirements regulating Phthalates and Bisphenol A (BPA). Only FDA approved colorants are added to the plastic. Following a model that is driving the popularity of locally-grown produce, Green Toys sources the HDPE from local California recycling programs and all its products are designed, engineered, injection molded and assembled locally as well.
This local supply chain results in a reduced carbon footprint required to get toys from factory to retailer to a domestic customers home. To further minimize its environmental impact, Green Toys uses the smallest amount of material possible in its packaging. All Green Toys products are packaged using recycled and recyclable corrugated boxes, and dont use any plastic films, cellophane or twist-ties. This also makes it safe and easy for kids to open up the packages themselves.
The visual expression and sustainable manufacturing approach reflected in this line of toys are sure to be a draw for its intended consumers - green-minded parents who are looking for a fun and engaging toy that wont compromise their childrens safety. The inherent simplicity of the designs, both visually and from a manufacturing standpoint, connects with parents who want honest products that pass the parental organic food standards test.