My Recycling Victory

Kristen Aubut
January 14, 2011

Every now and then, during my weekly Target shopping trip, I take a few extra minutes to walk down the toy aisle. During these infrequent detours, I keep an eye out for those little red Clearance flags stuck to the edge of the shelves. I rarely buy toys (or any product) unless they are on sale; and it has to be at least 25 percent off, because, to me, any percentage less isn’t truly a sale.

Well, during this particular trip, to my delight, the shelves were covered in the little red flags. Almost all of the toys were either 30 percent or 50 percent off! I began looking for a toy that my two-year-old son might like. I found the Hasbro Tonka Chuck and Friends Power Playard Stunt Park for only $15! I tossed it in the cart.

As I walked to the check-out, I looked down at the 2’ x 3’ cardboard box containing my son’s new toy. I thought to myself, “When I open this up at home, I wonder how much of this packaging will actually be recyclable? I bet there will be a bunch of plastic twist ties and Styrofoam padding that I’ll have to throw in the trash.”

Once at home, with wide eyes and big smiles, my son and husband watched eagerly as I opened the box. They were interested in the toy inside, but I was interested in the packaging the toy came in. While they began setting up the Stunt Park, I began breaking down the packaging. From the box, I pulled out a few pieces of cardboard and a couple of small plastic bags that the toy’s hardware came in. Sticking through holes in each piece of cardboard were twist ties that had held the toy in place.

“Oh wonderful, I’m going to have to untwist and untape each of these little plastic ties so that I can put the cardboard in my recycling bin” I thought. But, then I looked closer. The little twist ties weren’t made of plastic. They were actually tightly-wound pieces of paper. This meant that once I pulled out the plastic bags, I could simply stomp on the whole box, insides and all, to crush it down for my recycling bin. No tedious work to remove each little plastic twist tie! I was also surprised to see that there was no Styrofoam inside the box. The only materials the manufacturer used were cardboard, paper, tape and a couple of plastic bags.

Perhaps this experience seems trivial, but for this exhausted eco-conscious mother, being saved from untwisting dozens of plastic twist ties is an exciting victory!

Thank you Hasbro for making it easier for me to recycle your packaging!

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