Fast food ditched toys – magazines should too | Emma Kay

Ten-year-old Skye from Gwynedd is leading a campaign to stop the excessive use of plastic toys attached to her favourite magazines.

Friday, 2nd April 2021, 12:12 pm
Updated Friday, 2nd April 2021, 12:13 pm
Burger King installed a giant melting bunny on the Southbank in September 2019, marking the launch of its Meltdown - a nationwide toy amnesty, as it announced the removal of all plastic toys from its King Junior meals. Picture by Will Ireland/PinPep

Skye’s influence came from two girls who in 2019 petitioned for the halt of plastic toys in meals offered by fast food giants, such as Burger King and McDonalds.

Now is the time for magazine companies to take the same approach. Waitrose has taken up the cause and has been ditching magazines with disposable plastic toys unless they are educational or recyclable.

Permanent plastic is the enemy of the environment, which means it should be our enemy too. Our plastic pollution habits have seen a sea of multi-coloured mess clogging up our planet and children’s toys are some of the worst culprits. Plastic is light, strong and incredibly durable so for items we use over and over it serves a purpose, but more often than not, we only use it once, particularly to hold our food. We are too reliant on a material that will easily outlive us, for a few days or weeks use. In 2018 plastic packaging in the UK totalled more than 1.5m metric tonnes.

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Children’s magazine freebies have a noticeably short ‘play’ lifespan and are renown for being breakable and instantly binnable the moment you take them from the plastic casing. They are not high quality so why do we use them to make our choice on magazine purchase? The notion of including a toy to sell a magazine seems very narrow and drives up the price unnecessarily, with some costing up to £6. Surely we would rather have something more affordable which can be used to encourage our children to read rather than paying extra for a cheap and nasty toy?

We should be uniting with Skye to urge publishers to replace perilous plastic with sustainable alternatives. But we can only do this if we are all on board.

When buying these magazines for my nephew the toy is forgotten within five minutes, maybe less.

What he really looks forward to doing are the puzzles and games inside the magazine itself. They serve as a useful learning tool to beat the indoor boredom.

Recycling effectively and efficiently these days is already a misleading minefield. There are more than 400 councils in the UK and they have over 39 different rules for recycling. Household owners get told different things on what can and cannot be recycled. It is confusing enough as it is. We need less on the pile. Having excess plastic creates a larger carbon footprint and by binning these cheap flimsy toys simply adds to the problem. Let’s all work together to take the steps towards a more sustainable future.

Has Covid-19 accelerated the end of the high street?

Could high street browsing be behind us for good? It is now precautionary and a rarity.

We have all window shopped, then on to weaving through a store, touching and feeling without any real intent to buy until we give in to impulse.

So many businesses like Thorntons have closed their doors, denying us of our traditional chocolate waft and 600 people of their jobs.

Is this part of the new horizon of Covid? Shops are picking up and relocating under the supermarket umbrella just to survive.

Will we ever want to pick up where we left off and amble down the high street? Or has the shopping stimulus permanently moved off the shelf to the click of a button?

One clogged artery and the whole world pays the price

The Suez saga dominated the news over the past week.

A 400 metre long container ship, the Ever Given, became stuck fast on the eastern bank of the 120-mile long Suez Canal. But after all our laughing and finger-pointing we fail to see the massive impact this has had on our already fragile maritime global supply chain.

More than 3.3m tonnes of cargo navigates through the essential waterway every day with 320 ships stuck either side of her. We now have a slowdown of essential fuel, goods and products which are essential in the Covid-19 fight.

The heart of trade routes has been clogged.

This human error has assured our global shipping has come to a harrowing halt.

A message from the editor, Mark Waldron.You can subscribe here for unlimited access to our online coverage, including Pompey, for 27p a day.

Has Covid killed off the high street for good?

Could high street browsing be behind us for good? It is now precautionary and a rarity.

We have all window shopped, then on to weaving through a store, touching and feeling without any real intent to buy until factors such as layout and colour exposure fill us with satisfactory stimulation and make us give in to impulse.

So many businesses like Thorntons have closed their doors, denying us of our traditional chocolate waft and 600 people of their jobs.

Is this part of the new horizon of Covid? Shops are picking up and relocating under the supermarket umbrella just to survive. But can we browse successfully if all our favourite stores are in one place?

Will we ever want to pick ourselves up where we left off and amble down the high street?

Or has the shopping stimulus permanently been moved off the shelf existing now behind the click of a button?

One clogged artery and the whole world pays the price

The Suez saga has been dominating the news over the past week.

A 400 metre long container ship, the Ever Given, has become stuck fast on the eastern bank of the 120 mile long Suez Canal.

This hilarious mishap has been plastered all over the world with mocking references to ‘Uncle Albert’.

But after all our laughing and finger pointing we fail to see the massive impact this has had on our already fragile maritime global supply chain. The ramifications are rife.

More than 3.3m tonnes of cargo navigates through the essential waterway every day with 320 ships stuck either side of her.

We now have a slowdown of essential fuel, goods and products which are essential in the Covid-19 fight.

Our fuel prices are already staggeringly high. The heart of trade routes has been clogged.

This human error has assured our global shipping has come to a harrowing halt.