Thousands of toys repurposed to help build roads
Mizzie the Kangaroo has partnered with Pearl Global to find a new purpose for its iconic orange natural rubber teething toys.
More than 2,000 of its award-winning products were pulled from the company’s flooded warehouse and will now be used to build roads and other infrastructure in what is believed to be a world-first for the $156 billion toy industry.
Mizzie the Kangaroo founder, Sandra Ebbott, describes the partnership between the two Queensland companies as ‘perfect’.
“Our teething and educational toys are designed to give our children the best start in life,” she says.
“We’re on a mission now to extend this notion by ensuring our environmental impact is minimal, giving them a better future.
“We use natural and environmentally-friendly materials, but the fact we can now recycle our trademark products is huge for us and our customers.”
More than 12,000 units of Mizzie the Kangaroo’s educational books, puzzles, music boxes and teething toys worth $330,000 were destroyed in February when water tore through its Brisbane warehouse.
Thousands of its bright orange natural rubber teething toys were covered in mud, rendering them unsuitable for sale. Having built the company with a firm focus on sustainability, Ebbott couldn’t stand the thought of them going to waste and spent the past six months trying to find a second use for them.
Pearl Global co-founder, Gary Foster, says the company was happy to provide a solution that ensured none of the damaged toys went to waste.
“It is a pleasure to support Mizzie the Kangaroo as a business that shares our values of circular economy and commitment to diverting waste from landfill through repurposing,” he says.
Pearl Global uses its thermal desorption process to transform the toys into high-value fuel, carbon, steel and gas, while using almost zero emissions. It has processed more than two million tyres, with the materials produced going on to be used in the construction of several roads across Queensland.
“To know the Mizzies that were damaged in the floods and those no longer needed by our customers won’t go to waste and will play a critical role in our local infrastructure is pretty special,” Ebbott adds.
With the toy sector only continuing to grow, it is crucial businesses find a way to reduce their environmental footprint.
Mizzie the Kangaroo recently closed a $268,000 crowdfunding campaign to help it develop a suite of new products and increase its presence overseas.
Its new recycling program means each Mizzie purchased can be returned to the company at the end of its lifespan, so it can be repurposed and diverted from landfill.
“Parents are buying fewer toys for their children and looking out for ones that are sustainably made and packaged as a way to reduce the amount of waste their family produces. It’s up to all of us to find new and creative ways of doing things,” Ebbott says.