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Plastic Toys

Waitrose is banning kids’ magazines that come with “short lifespan” plastic toys, following a 10-year-old girl’s campaign.

The supermarket is to remove the magazines from shelves over the next eight weeks as it calls on publishers to replace the plastic toys with more sustainable alternatives.

The ban applies to the “many children’s magazines” that come with “free plastic toys which have a very short lifespan and cannot be easily recycled”, said a Waitrose spokeswoman. It does not include “educational or reusable craft items, such as colouring pencils and pens or collectable models which are intended to be used multiple times”.

Waitrose said it was inspired to act after hearing about the campaign of a 10-year-old girl named Skye from Gwynedd to persuade publishers to stop giving away the plastic toys.

“While we know these magazines are popular with children, some of the unnecessary plastic attached to them has become really excessive,” said Waitrose sustainability & ethics director Marija Rompani.

“Many in the younger generation really care about the planet and are the ones inheriting the problem of plastic pollution. We urge publishers to find alternatives, and other retailers to follow our lead in ending the pointless plastic that comes with children’s magazines.”

Waitrose has previously committed to tackling plastic waste by making all own-label packaging widely recycled, reusable or home compostable by 2023. From 2020, the supermarket banned plastic toys in Christmas crackers in favour of recyclable alternatives.

Tesco made a similar move on crackers last year as part of a push to remove 20 million pieces of plastic from its Christmas range.

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