Environmental labeling group EcoLogo is working on a program to certify the environmental friendliness of toys, which have been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons in recent years, especially over lead content levels.
Indeed, earlier this year retailers took extra efforts to remove lead-laden toys from their shelves.
Scot Case, executive director of the EcoLogo program, said that too many makers of toys and children’s products are using terms like “all natural” and “earth friendly” without any backing to the claims, reports Playthings.com.
“The new EcoLogo standard will define clear criteria that products must meet before they can claim environmental leadership,” Case said.
EcoLogo toy and children’s product standards will be developed over the next 12 to 18 months.
The first step is defining environmental issues and questions to be addressed by the standard. EcoLogo hopes to get input from toy manufacturers and retailers.
The end goal is a set of standards to determine whether a product is eligible for EcoLogo certification.
Participating in the standards development process are Sally Edwards, director of the Sustainable Children’s Products Initiative at the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production (University of Massachusetts, Lowell) and staff at the University of Tennessee Center for Clean Products.
EcoLogo is a third-party eco-labeling program operating under guidelines of the Global Ecolabelling Network. Established in 1988 by the Canadian government, it now is operated by TerraChoice Environmental Marketing.
Most companies in the toy and child equipment industry, however, received a failing grade, with only five companies scoring any points at all on a scale of 1 to 100.