While I had a hunch I knew what an eco-friendly toy was, I wondered if there was an industry-wide standard for this classification in order to better understand how my potential eco-friendly purchase might help the environment.
According to Kristen Morency and Adrienne Appell, representatives with the Toy Industry Association (TIA), a non-profit trade association representing over 550 North American toy manufacturers and importers, “there is no ‘official’ definition of eco-friendly toys at this time. However, our members who are producing ‘green’ products typically have implemented one of the following actions:”
- They use materials that are recycled or are renewable under schemes such as the FCS (Forest Stewardship Council); and/or
- They are producing in a factory that is currently using environmental energy sources; and/or
- They are producing biopolymers
TIA representatives also mentioned that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has not yet completed the update of its Green Guides, which provides guidance on “how to help marketers avoid making unfair or deceptive environmental marketing claims.”
When I contacted the EPA to gather additional feedback on what an eco-friendly or “green” toy was, I was directed to the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC). A representative there asked me to email my request and someone would get back to me (nobody has yet.)
To get the local take on the subject, I contacted Montclair’s environmental affairs coordinator Gray Russell to see what he thought….