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Do your bit for the planet and join the Great Toy Rescue

With more than 60% of parents saying their kids have too many toys and more than half claiming their house is overflowing with them, Zero Waste Scotland has today (6 March) launched The Great Toy Rescue.

6 Mar 20

As the theme of this year’s Pass it on Week (7-15 March), which is supported by European Regional Development Funding, the Great Toy Rescue sets out to encourage more Scots to swap, donate, share and repair their toys to give them a second chance to play.

Having a clear out of unwanted toys and passing them on will not only brighten someone else’s day, but also conserve precious resources, reduce carbon emissions and cut waste.

Cherry Campbell, the star of hit children’s TV show Katie Morag is urging Scots to consider the environment and get involved in passing on toys. The programme was filmed in the Hebridean Islands, which is known for its natural, unspoilt beauty. 

Cherry Campbell said: 

“I think about the effects of all the waste on the planet, especially the pollution affecting wildlife. It’s good to think you are helping to reduce the amount of waste building up around the world. It’s also nice to know you have a toy that has been passed down and was enjoyed from someone in your family or a friend.

“It’s easy to go online or visit your local charity shop to pick up some toys that are in a very good condition and much cheaper than new. We can all help to reduce the amount of waste ending up in the oceans and on land.”

Cherry added: “I loved dolls when I was little, and my favourite was Swimmy. She was the first doll I had that I could play with in the bath. I loved dressing her up and taking her out. I still have her but I have passed other toys on to charity shops, school fayres, my old nursery and toddler group.”

A Survation poll commissioned by Zero Waste Scotland reveals that 61% of parents say their children have too many toys. Meanwhile, more than half (54%) of parents say their house is overflowing with toys. 

Four fifths of Scotland’s carbon footprint is caused by the goods and materials that we consume, this includes the heat and energy required to grow, make, process, transport and provide them. Whether it is food, clothes, toys or electrical equipment maximising use of the materials we have will reduce the level of carbon emissions produced. It will also protect habitats and biodiversity by reducing the demand to find and extract new materials.

Iain Gulland, chief executive of Zero Waste Scotland, said:

“It’s so easy to end up with too many toys when you have young children. Passing on toys that the kids have grown out of keeps existing materials in use, cuts back on carbon emissions from producing new and reduces waste, which will lower Scotland’s carbon footprint overall.

“Do your bit and declutter your home by simply passing something on or increasing the fun with a toy swap event. If toys aren’t your thing you can broaden it out to swapping clothes or other items.”

Cherry Campbell visited Jordanhill School, where she used to study, to meet current pupils and found out how they are responding to the climate crisis.

Dr Paul W. Thomson, rector of Jordanhill School, said:

“The enthusiasm and commitment of young people is inspiring. Whether they are questioning a parent at home or politicians at large, it pressurises adults into changing their thinking and questioning their habits and assumptions.

“The Great Toy Rescue encourages us to see beyond the superficiality of newness. Today too many things are treated as disposable – clothes, cars, furniture – in a way that didn’t happen in the past. The things we may have outgrown or no longer need have value for others. Young people need to learn the value of beauty and quality over novelty.”

Events, such as swap shops and repair cafes, will take place across Scotland during Pass it on Week. To get involved, please visit toyrescue.passitonweek.com

The Great Toy Rescue is part of Zero Waste Scotland’s Resource Efficient Circular Economy Accelerator Programme, which will invest £73m in circular economy and resource efficiency projects, thanks to support from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).


Notes For Editors

Total sample size was 1,017 parents with children under ten years old living in Scotland. Fieldwork was undertaken between 10th - 14th February 2020. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all Scottish adults with children under ten years old (aged 16+). The figures are available online.

About Zero Waste Scotland

Zero Waste Scotland exists to lead Scotland to use products and resources responsibly, focusing on where we can have the greatest impact on climate change.  

Using evidence and insight, our goal is to inform policy, and motivate individuals and businesses to embrace the environmental, economic, and social benefits of a circular economy.  

We are a not-for-profit environmental organisation, funded by the Scottish Government and European Regional Development Fund.

More information on all Zero Waste Scotland’s programmes can be found at zerowastescotland.org.uk. You can also keep up to date with the latest from Zero Waste Scotland via our social media channels - Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn
The Scottish Government is the Managing Authority for the European Structural Funds 2014-20 Programme. For further information visit our website or follow @scotgovESIF.

For media enquiries contact:

Sophie Thirkell, Press Officer, Zero Waste Scotland
Mobile: 07966 284095
Email: sophie.thirkell@zerowastescotland.org.uk

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