Many kids go to fast-food restaurants. Of course, they want to get their hands on a delicious kid’s meal, but what grabbed the kids’ attention must be the toy that’s included. However, did you know that the plastic the toy is made of could pollute the ocean? Kids can just throw away the toys after they played a while, generating trash. Then the plastic will be discarded into the ocean, which not only harms the ocean but also harms the whole marine environment. The animals can be harmed as well by ingesting plastic, which can damage their bodies, and then eventually die. If the toys in every Kids’ Meal can be plastic-free, it will benefit the future of our environment by reducing damage to marine life, pollution, and other bad environmental impacts. Finally, by protecting animals from incidentally ingesting plastic, humans who consume these animals can also be protected.

How Does Kids’ Meal Toys Affect the Ocean?

Well, kids’ meal toys made of plastic can worsen the ocean because the kids will only play with the toys for a while and then throw them away, which creates trash to be dumped into the ocean. Though when making the happy meal toys, certain fast-food giants will try to make excuses that the plastic is recyclable. However, the recyclable plastic could still get thrown into the ocean and cause damage. When a large amount of plastic flows into the ocean, it’ll not only make the ocean unclean, but also unsanitary for life in the ocean. This situation has worsened to the point that even some fast-food giants are seeking sustainable materials to replace those toys.

Aftermath Of Marine Life After Plastic Ingestion

The aftermath of plastic that is ingested into marine life’s bodies can be dangerous- there will be serious damage to the animals that live in the ocean. Plastic that’s thrown into the ocean can cause huge amounts of dead and injured fish, as well as harm to seabirds and other sea mammals. The marine life that consumed that plastic can damage their organs and digestive systems, which will affect their growth and survival. 44% of all seabird species and 86% of sea turtle species were found to contain plastic in their digestive systems since they all can mistake plastic as food. Plastic tossed into the ocean is a big issue and will cause life-threatening problems. Those kinds of unnecessary deaths can be avoided if we don’t dump trash into the ocean. Happy meal toys are just one part of it.

Other Environmental Impacts On Plastic Misuse

There are even more detrimental effects caused by kids’ meal toys plastic. Not only happy meal toys but all of the plastic materials dumped into the ocean were also causing harm and destruction to the other animals. Eventually, they will harm us. Plastic affects seagulls and other birds because they rely on marine life like fish for sustenance, but the birds can mistake plastic as their food. Did you know that we throw 4 million tons of trash into the ocean every single day? Plastic constitutes the majority of all the trash. Because of that, the same result of accidentally ingesting plastic can happen to other marine life. Then the plastic waste in the ocean can also harm us, humans. We consume seafood too, so we’re at risk of eating those plastic-ingested animals. Plastic happy meal toys must stop being manufactured. It will be one small step to eliminate plastic waste.

Alternatives To Replace Kids’ Meal Toys

What we can do is stop using plastic products. For example, some fast food giants already discontinued the use of plastic straws. Why can’t we do more for this cause if there’s already some action being taken against the use of straws? The next step to eliminating plastic is to substitute happy meal toys. Instead of using hard plastic, how about putting dolls or soft toys in happy meals and using cotton? McDonald’s in the UK had used books as their happy meal toys. Not only did they replace plastic toys for a while, but they also promoted the concept of kids reading. That’s another great idea that can be used in the future for those toys. All of these ideas are possible and there are many more ways to solve this problem, but we have to find a solution.

Benefits To Plastic-Free Kids’ Meal Toys

With no plastic happy meal toys, the plastic packaging and the toy itself, the world will be a better place. To make it even better, eliminating all the single-use plastic in fast food restaurants will not only make the ocean cleaner, but can also save the whole environment. One thing that we have to do is to prevent any more plastic from flowing into the ocean. To sum it up, these fast food companies should not even make plastic happy meal toys at all. Reducing and recycling plastic use is a big step to taking action on plastic pollution. Recycling is one big factor because we don’t want any single-use materials to be dumped and wasted. Some individuals instead reuse that single-use plastic. They had many ideas on turning them into something useful, like sunglasses. The final big factor is figuring out how to replace plastic with better alternatives. For example, use mugs instead of plastic bottles. These methods can help make Earth a better place.

[Image Attribute: Andreas Wieser]