‘Green toys’ pull visitors to Delhi expo

July 1st, 2012 - 8:00 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 1 (IANS) It is not shiny plastic toys but toys made up of eco-friendly materials such as paper and bamboo that were pulling visitors and distributors at the International Toys Expo under way in the capital Sunday.

The ‘green toys’ made from recycled environment-friendly matter are also attracting parents for being “non-toxic and cost-effective”. The toys are being touted as the next big thing in the Indian toy market, growing at over 15 percent annually.

“The market for green toys is steadily increasing. The main focus is to increase the Indian toy market’s share globally,” Pankaj Patwal, executive secretary of the Toy Association of India (TAI), told IANS.

As Chinese toy producers have cornered a major market share in the subcontinent, Indian industry feels the innovations and new features at the sixth annual toy expo will bring in investors.

“Once the exhibitors get the distributors, the toys will reach the markets within months,” added Patwal.

Interestingly, people are emphasising on buying healthy and sustainable toys, knowing that the plastic toys could harm their child, say exhibitors.

“We manufacture toys using recycled cardboard paper for various games. The ink which is used to paint the wood is a non-toxic ink or soya ink,” said Pallavi Aggarwal, director of toy company, Chalk and Chuckles.

Priced between Rs.200 and Rs.11,000, the toys come with surface treatment, energy consumption, and packaging options to minimise environmental impact and maximize efficiency.

Bamboo, cotton and 100 percent recycled plastic from milk jugs are also used while manufacturing the eco-friendly play sets.

Rajesh Kumar, sales manager of toy manufacturer Sunbaby, feels “reuse-recycle” is the USP of these green toys.

“When a regular toy is not being used anymore, it is either thrown away or broken up. But if it is a green toy, we can recycle it again and invent a new toy out of it,” Kumar told IANS.

But for the Indian toy industry flooded with Chinese produce, creating space for eco-friendly toys is not easy as parents still find these toys a “rare find” in local markets.

“Parents cannot stay around the child all the time to see what the toddler is taking in his mouth while playing. Buying eco-friendly toys minimizes the risk, but then these toys are not easily available in the market,” said Manjari Singh, mother of a two-year- old.

Singh, who was here at the expo that will conclude Monday, said the fair has “introduced her to the world of green toys”.

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