The Myopia of Microplastics

Put simply, plastic is killing our environment.  Plastic beads, sequins and glitter, all considered “microplastics” — plastics 5 millimeters and smaller — that are used in plush toys, are devastating our environment by polluting our oceans and causing suffocation, starvation and the drowning of marine life.

In our industry examples of these microplastics are “beads, beans or pellets”, sequins and glitter, and for many manufacturers these materials are primary components of plush as well as other toys.  And while companies use these materials to try to improve the attraction of their products, the damage these microplastics cause to our environment, regardless if they are made with recycled materials, is undeniable.

Scientists estimate 8 trillion microbeads in the U.S. alone are making their way into our waterways — daily.  Add to that a variety of other types of plastics, including sequins, beads and glitter that are not captured in the recycling process because they are too small, and you have an environmental crisis that continues to grow exponentially.

Our Pledge Against Plastics

While we cannot control the use of microplastics in other industries, we can control what products we source and sell in our stores.

We know that some of the larger plush suppliers rely upon sequins and other microplastics due to recent popularity in order gain a visual competitive edge, but at a tremendous cost to our environment.  We strongly believe these types of products do not fit into the mission of our partners.

That’s why Wildlife Trading Company does not sell plush products that contain beads/beans/pellets, sequins or glitter given the horrific damage these microplastics wreak on wildlife.  We eliminated using plastic bags in all of our retail stores, saving hundreds of thousands of unnecessary pieces of plastic from entering into our environment and contributing to the growing epidemic. In addition to the plastic bags, we are also eliminating the use of glitter tattoos at all of our locations, effectively eliminating another form of microplastic from entering the environment.

Wildlife Trading Company’s eyes are wide open to the microplastic crisis that is unfolding, and we do not want our plush to be a part of the problem. That’s why you’ll never see plush that contains these materials in our stores. We are making every effort, throughout our organization, to eliminate microplastics period.

That’s our pledge to uphold the missions and vision of our wildlife partners. As well as our pledge to wildlife and the environment we cherish.