Eco-Lasting Play: How Toy Companies are Putting Sustainability into Practice

chalk illustration of planet earthApril 18, 2024 | With Earth Day around the corner, 78 percent of consumers consider sustainability very or somewhat important when making buying decisions or shopping at a retailer, according to a Consumer Sustainability Survey from Blue Yonder, a supply chain management company.

The new data supports The Toy Association™’s 2024 Eco-Lasting Play trend and its own survey of 1,000 U.S. parents last July, which found that 45 percent of parents under the age of 40 consider a toy’s environmental impact when purchasing playthings. Consumer values are driving manufacturers to incorporate more eco-friendly materials and to take a holistic approach when designing their products.

“Toys designed for longevity are also becoming a key consideration for today’s discerning shoppers,” said Adrienne Appell, executive vice president of marketing communications at The Toy Association. “In addition to sustainable manufacturing practices, designing durable products is another viable approach for companies looking to deepen their commitment to fostering a greener tomorrow for future generations.”

A few examples of companies incorporating these green tactics into their products and business models include:

Dantoy offers a Blue Marine toy line made from recycled residual material from used maritime gear, such as nets, trawls, and ropes. Dantoy products are also made in-house in Denmark, and 98% of them are labeled with the Swan label, the official Nordic eco-label, which means they contain no harmful substances, such as phthalates, perfumes, and BPAs, and are designed with the product’s full lifecycle in mind.

Hape’s new Outdoor Art Easel invites budding artists to paint en plein air. The double-sided easel is ideal for kids collaborating on art creations. It is designed with long-lasting, anti-corrosive wood to withstand the elements, and a transparent drawing board can be easily cleaned with soap and water.

Learning Resources introduced a new line of learning products made with recycled plastic. The nature-themed toy collection includes products like the Blooming Balance Bees Fine Motor Sorting Set and Growing Greenhouse Color and Number Playset that teach kids early learning concepts like counting and color recognition while also learning about the environment.

Playmobil has converted the production of all items in its toddler portfolio from traditional, fossil-based to plant-based materials. Under the new brand Playmobil Junior, the toddler range is made with plastics originating from raw materials that are at least 90% plant based.

Playper’s playsets are made of a special plastic-free, 100% recyclable material called PlayperBoard®. Using the sheets of material, kids can easily pop out the pieces and follow directions to build castles, characters, and accessories. An optional free-to-download app can expand the fun through augmented reality.

Plus-Plus unveiled a new fidget toy called HEXEL®, crafted out of six Plus-Plus pieces connected by a flexible cord. Like all Plus-Plus products, the new collection is made in Denmark using 100% green energy from wind power and made of 100% recyclable materials.

Radio Flyer expands its line of ebikes for families with the Flyer™ Via™ Pro. Designed to cart around adults, kids, and other precious cargo, it comes with premium upgraded features like a 750W motor, suspension fork, 8-speed gear shifter, and high-intensity headlight. New add-on accessories for the bike include an oversized hauler for expanded storage, a canopy for all-weather riding, and more.

VICTURY Sports announced its new Ollyball Planet Earth, a 22-inch ball made of upcycled and sustainable material captured before entering the atmosphere. Designed for indoor or outdoor play, the ball floats “Gravity Neutral” when filled with helium. Kids can learn about the 150+ countries, islands, rivers, and territories featured on the ball as they color them in.

Wild Republic expands its sustainable toy range this year with the addition of Earthkins, the first line of biodegradable plush. Built to last for years, Earthkins are designed to be responsibly broken down when disposed to become part of the earth again.

ZURU expands its Bunch O Balloons line for 2024 with the new Bunch O Balloons Reusable Water Balloons. Featuring safe-seal magnetic technology, the water balloons are designed to be used repeatedly. Simply open, dunk, close, and launch.

For more Toy Association trend coverage and information on our 2024 toy trends, visit To have your company's sustainability efforts and environmentally focused products featured by The Toy Association, contact Maddie Michalik.