Child products like child seats, helmets and toys are a vital part of the life of a parent and the child. It caters to the health, safety and happiness of the child. Similarly, the toys that bring the widest smiles to the faces of our young ones are, unfortunately, the same products that can have a mammoth and irreversible negative effect on the future of the children. This article will look at how child products affect the environment and contribute to pollution.
The worldwide baby products industry is forecasted to grow by $225.48 billion in 2022, up from $214.13 billion in 2021. Yet, even as we move towards buying more eco-friendly products, the producers of our children’s toys, toiletries and safety goods might not care as much about sustainability. This stems from the fact that not only do non-reusable products make better profile margins, but cheaper raw material also adds more zeroes to their bank accounts. Yet, as mindful parents, who wish for nothing but a bright future for our little ones, we must curb the usage of products that are difficult to recycle and directly or indirectly aggravate the problem of pollution.
The following points are covered in the article
- Importance of sustainability and its impact on future generations
- How do child products like child seats, helmets, toys etc., adversely affect the environment?
- Hidden impact – competitive cost and shipping-related non-sustainable activities
- What can be done?
Importance of sustainability and its impact on future generations.
The term “sustainability” refers to the relationship between humans and the natural environment. The word “sustainable development” refers to achieving long-term changes to the social and natural environment that benefit both current and future generations. What we do now, how we live today, and what resources we exploit today will directly influence our children’s and future generations’ lives. Assisting in constructing a more productive and ecologically friendly economy is one way to attain these goals.
How do toys, diapers, child safety seats, and plastic helmets lead to environmental degradation?
Suppose you start taking the number of children born each year in the United States, which is between 3.5 and 4 million according to Statistica and assume that every infant will need somewhere around 3 and 4 child safety car seats before they hit the age and height considered necessary to sit in a regular vehicle seat and add in the fact that child safety car seats need to be changed after every five years. In that case, you’ll end up with roughly 50 million used seats that have already been rescinded between 2016 and 2021.
According to the CDC, there are 97,200 vehicle collisions impacting your children each year in the United States. This implies that 97,200 child car safety seats need to be updated each year, yet they can’t be donated due to various concerns. Between 2016 and 2021, additional 12 million old child car seats must be disposed of. In the same vein, most bike helmets that are presently available in the market are not environmentally friendly. Many typical helmets are composed of petrochemicals, which take a long time to biodegrade. Furthermore, specific helmet components are not recyclable, and they become non-reusable with each hit. Child safety seats and helmets, the latter is a need of every child who skates or cycles, are becoming an increasing concern as the masses do not know how to dispose of them in a non-ecologically-threatening manner.
Moreover, another reason governing ecology-related concerns regarding safety seats or helmets is that parents do not buy second-hand or refurbished car safety seats because there is no knowledge of warranty or previous defects. Similarly, most charity and recycling stores do not take used child safety seats because of the same reason that parents are warned against purchasing refurbished ones. Reusing and recycling them may be difficult, and most parents would instead buy a new car safety seat or helmet, and at times multiple ones, for their children.
Hidden impact – competitive cost and shipping-related non-sustainable activities.
The worldwide system of commodities mobility is crucial to our modern way of life. Most of the times the manufacturing of the products are based far from the market location. This too has an adverse effect on the environment. Overseas shipping is responsible for up to 4% of all human-caused carbon emissions. This figure might rise to 17% by 2050.
What can be done?
By the brands:-
Include the concept of circular economy in the product development.
Manufacture as much as possible locally to avoid excessive logistics.
You as a parent:-
Choose products wisely evaluating the type and quantity of plastic.
Shift to natural products wherever possible.
Stop buying products that are not really needed.
In every geography, consumer education, campaigning for comprehensive legislative reform, and implementing an eco-label certification mechanism for all children’s products should become a mandate. We should collectively work towards combating the non-friendly nature of mass and fast-use child products and building a better tomorrow for our little ones.