Innovation That Matters

New toy range teaches kids about sea pollution


Conservation society Sea Shepherd has released the Pollutoys, a line of plush toys that show children the effects of plastic pollution on marine life.

Over a million tons of plastic gets thrown in the ocean yearly, causing the deaths of a million seabirds and 100,000 sea animals per year. And it’s forecast that – if we don’t change our ways – by 2050 the sea will contain more plastic than fish. This unpleasant thought might seem an unusual flashpoint to start a new range of kids’ toys, but that’s exactly what eco-society Sea Shepherd has done.

The Pollutoys is a range of eight sealife “plushies” designed by Andrea Vida from her studio in Budapest, and all have zipped stomachs full of trash like bottles, shopping bags and cutlery, all made from the same plush material. The line includes such models as Penny the Penguin, Darla the Dolphin and Waldo the Walrus, and all look very upset and downbeat.

Research has shown that between the ages of three and five, when children are learning through toys, it enhances memory retention by 77%. The toys are here to teach youngsters to protect the environment and become ecologically conscious. The range has already been adopted by global organisations CompaNanny, Orange Panda and Magnolia King, and they’re being used in dozens of pre-schools across Europe and Asia.

We’re seeing more and more initiatives in which toys are being used to develop specific trains of thought in children, such as Osmo Play which teaches children how to think like entrepreneurs and the Kumiita robot which has kids thinking like programmers. Is it possible the days of agendaless playtime will be a thing of the past?



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