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Recycling and Toy Over-Packaging. Presented By: Northwood’s Green School Committee. November 15 th is America Recycles Day. America Recycles Day is a nationally recognized day dedicated to encouraging Americans to recycle and to buy recycled products.

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recycling and toy over packaging

Recycling and Toy Over-Packaging

Presented By:

Northwood’s Green School Committee

november 15 th is america recycles day
November 15th is America Recycles Day

America Recycles Day is a nationally recognized day dedicated

to encouraging Americans to recycle and to buy recycled


  • Reducing waste and Recycling helps protect our resources, our environment and our quality of life
  • Did you know that the average American throws away 4.6 pounds of garbage every day. That’s a lot of garbage! All of this garbage goes mostly to landfills where it is compacted and buried and where it sits for a very long time.
  • In support of America Recycles Day, and because Northwood is a Michigan Green School, we decided to come in to talk about recycling and to discuss a letter writing project about toy over-packaging.

Northwood students can make a difference!

what can be recycled in the classroom
What can be recycled in the classroom?

Almost all paper products can be recycled in the


  • Recycle these items:
  • All types of writing paper
  • Scraps of paper and post-it notes (no matter how small they are)
  • Envelopes
  • All colors of paper
  • Any kind of cardboard including poster board and boxes
  • Folders
  • Kleenex boxes
  • Do not recycle these items:
  • Paper towels
  • Napkins
  • Kleenex or tissues

Just place recyclable items in the classroom paper bin!

what can be recycled in the cafeteria
What can be recycled in the cafeteria?

A lot of items that you are packing your lunch can be recycled in the cafeteria:

Plastic Containers

yogurt, pudding & fruit containers

juice & water bottles

Lunchables containers

Cardboard Containers

juice boxes

milk cartons & milk boxes

Aluminum Containers

lemonade or pop cans

Capri Sun pouches

Just place recyclable items in the appropriate recycle bin!

why is all of that packaging bad
Why is all of that packaging bad?
  • Excess packaging causes excess carbon emissions from the factories that make it
  • The more paper and cardboard we use the more trees need to be cut down. Trees absorb carbon dioxide when they’re alive.
  • Logging wood for paper mills destroys the habitats of endangered species and destroys essential eco-systems.
  • Excess packaging adds to toy weight and size which takes more effort and fuel to transport.
  • If the toy packaging is not properly recycled or cannot be recycled, it ends up in landfills where it sits and sits and sits
    • Plastic can take thousands of years to break down in a landfill and some plastics may never break down
    • Cardboard can take anywhere from two months to 3 years to break down in a landfill
  • An organization in the United Kingdom, called Green Sword, predicted that Christmas toy packaging would generate 800,000 tonnes of waste in one year. That is more than 1.7 billion pounds! And the United States has 5 times more people than the United Kingdom.
what you can do
What you can do
  • Take a look at how your favorite toys are packaged
  • If you think the toy company uses too much packaging, this is what you can do:
    • Write a letter and tell the toy companies what you think
      • Tell them what your favorite toy is
      • Tell them what you think about the way it is packaged and include ideas for reducing the packaging, you can even draw a picture of how it could be packaged
      • Explain how the extra packaging makes you feel and how it impacts the environment
      • If enough kids complain and refuse to buy toys with excessive packaging, the companies will have to make a change
    • Recycle as much packaging as you can
      • Did you know that most people don’t recycle toy packaging?
      • The plastic and cardboard used in toy packaging can be recycled by simply placing it in your family’s recycle bin after opening the toy
    • When making up your Christmas list this holiday season, select toys that have less packaging
    • Look for packaging with recycling information on it
who you can write to
Who you can write to


Neil Friedman


Mattel Brands

333 Continental Blvd.

El Segundo, CA 90245

Mattel Toy Lines:

American Girl Little People

Avatar Loving Family Doll House

Barbie Matchbox

Batman My Scene

Blokus Polly Pocket

Blues Clues Power Wheels

Disney Scene It

Diva Starz Sesame Street

Dora SpongeBob SquarePants

Easy Bake Oven Thumbelina

Fisher-Price Tyco

Geo Trax View-Master

Hot Wheels Winnie the Pooh

Justice League X-Games finger Sports


John Fascotti

Chief Marketing Officer


1027 New Port Ave.

Pawtucket, RI 02862

Hasbro Toy Lines:

Baby Alive Mr. Potato Head

Disney My Little Pony

Electronic Catch Phrase Nerf

FurReal Friends Operation

Fantastic Four Play-Doh

GI Joe Playskool

High School Musical Spiderman

Hungry Hungry Hippos Star Wars

I-Dog Super Soaker

Iron Man Tonka

Littlest Pet Shop Transformers

how your letter might look
How your letter might look

about the environment and hope that my letter will make you think about ways to package toys in more environmentally friendly packaging. Can you please write me back to let me know what Hasbro is doing to reduce toy packaging.


Jon Bryson

Mrs. Paradiso’s 4th Grade Class

Northwood Elementary School

Royal Oak, Michigan

November 13th, 2009

Dear Mr. Fascotti,

Star Wars toys are my favorite toys, but I don’t like how they are packaged in so much plastic and cardboard. When I got a Darth Vadar action figure for my birthday, it took me 10 minutes to open the package and I couldn’t believe how much packaging was wasted on such a small toy. It is bad for the environment and it must cost a lot of money to add so much packaging. I was thinking that there must be a better way to package the toy, maybe in a smaller cardboard box that can more easily be recycled than all of that plastic. I am concerned

how your letter might look11
How your letter might look

things Mattel is doing to reduce waste in packaging. I am going to be looking at the packaging on toys when I write my Christmas list this year.


Dana Nathan

Mrs. Villerot’s 2nd Grade Class

Northwood Elementary School

Royal Oak, Michigan

November 13th, 2009

Dear Mr. Friedman,

I love Polly Pocket dolls, but don’t like how they are sometimes packaged in such large packages with so much wasted plastic and cardboard. I really like the new packaging that you have made that puts the Polly Pocket dolls and clothing in strips. It generates less waste and is much better for the environment. Do you think that you can design packaging like that for other toys so that you can help protect our environment? I love playing with your toys, but don’t like to think of all of the packaging that ends up in landfills. Please write me back to let me know what other