Plastic Cracker Tat

030118 plastic problem 1
On the left: Useless, disappointing tat. On the right: Something actually useful (although this isn’t the actual one in the cracker – this is just one that was handy for the photo).

These are toys from a cracker.

If anyone has ever cared to listen, they’ve heard me ranting about such items – useless, disappointing, made of plastic and wrapped in plastic despite not being perishable – and I’ve threatened to ban them if I ever come to power.

It’s too small to be reliably recycled (most will be left on the table and rolled up with the tablecloth bound for landfill). Most will never be used. Most are not wanted. It’s not a medical device, requiring sterility. It’s a hazard to children, having small parts.

So… why? Why in the suns-damned world would anyone want this? Why must this exist? The dice is at least useful, even if it’s made of resin and peraps not recyclable. It could be made of wood. Jobs need not be lost. Why do crackers need to have something like this in, rather than something edible, useful, or biodegradable?

Almost every piece of plastic ever made either still exists or has been burned, releasing toxins. Even plastics which break down are now tiny, tiny particles, infesting soil or bobbing about on ocean currents. You have probably eaten a good spoonful by now (10k micro-particles, by some estimates), especially if you eat fish. Your body has absorbed several thousand, along with the flame retardants and other chemicals they picked up en route to you.

It’s not a ‘bit of fun’. It’s not a handmade item. Not a craft item. Not a decorative item. Not a statue, bit of jewellery, greetings card… It was made to be junk. Stop buying it and they may stop making it.


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