Children’s furniture made from recycled plastic toys
The majority of children’s toys is made from plastic. Plastic is versatile, relatively safe to put in your mouth, and, most importantly perhaps, cheap. However, most toys are used for a relatively short time, either because they break, or the child loses interest. To introduce children to a circular economy at an early age, Belgium company Ecobirdy introduced their debut collection of children’s furniture, each of which is made from recycled plastic toys.
The brand aims to create pieces that enable kids to experience creativity and at the same time raise awareness for sustainability. They found that plastic toys use plastic more intensively than other consumer goods.
Ecobirdy created a system for the collection and recycling of old or unused toys. Their partner, a professional recycler in the Netherlands, examines, sorts, and cleans the toys, after which they are shredded into flakes to turn into furniture pieces. Ecobirdy uses new technologies that ensure no pigments or resin have to be added.
The flakes of plastic are still visible in the furniture, giving them a speckled appearance. All the furniture is recyclable after its lifetime.
The collection, made from rotational-moulded polyethylene, consists of a chair and table with rounded shapes, a lamp and a storage box. The box shaped like a Kiwi bird. In addition to raise awareness about the importance of recycling plastic, this particular piece also want to draw attention to the endangered species of the Kiwi bird, of which less than 70,000 birds exist. The rhino-shaped lamp does the same for the endangered rhino.
The collection follows an in-depth, two-year study into how to sustainably recycle plastic toys. Ecobirdy was co-funded by COSME, an EU programme that aims to make it easier fro small and medium sized companies to access finance at all phases of their lifecycle.