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  1. 1. The FootPrint Problem of Shrinkwrapping Sarah Jordan
  2. 2. The Toy LEnding Library • A great way to provide toys to children whose families can’t afford much • However, children are messy and diseases spread easily through communal toys, so each toy must be cleansed and sanitized upon return to the Library
  3. 3. Shrinkwrapping • After being sanitized, it is required that each toy be shrinkwrapped to “ensure” cleanliness • Shrinkwrapping not only wastes plastic but requires electricity to heat the plastic to the point that is conforms to the shape of the toy • Many people remove the plastic inside the library and then don’t check the toys out--we are required to re-package them
  4. 4. A MANAGEMENT ProBLEM? • Management and clients could simply trust that we have sanitized each toy • However, many parents and providers refuse to check out a toy if it is not shrinkwrapped
  5. 5. Alternative Solutions • Seems like a packaging problem, so if we could find a sustainable way to package toys and ensure they were clean, we could eliminate the need to shrinkwrap. • We could provide each toy with a reusable plastic bag or fabric sack • But need a method of ensuring the toy hasn’t been contaminated since the last use
  6. 6. Sustainable Shrinkwrapping? • We could require that people return the plastic the toy was in • The used plastic could be melted down into sheets to be reused • But how do we ensure that people bring back the plastic? • Creates the need for more energy to melt plastic down and re-form
  7. 7. Alternative Materials • Need packaging that will allow children and parents to see the toy and also hold it together without allowing for any kind of contamination • Regular plastic baggies? • Require that bags be returned and reused • But what about larger objects? • Cellulose packaging? • Recyclable but still requires heat for forming
  8. 8. Reusable Boxes? • Collect different boxes for storing objects • Many sizes for all the different kinds of toys • Boxes can be brought back and reused • Plastic boxes would allow for viewing, would keep toy pieces together, and would keep the toys clean • But... • Need to sanitize the boxes too--> more waste
  9. 9. Conclusion No easy answer--every means of storage available right now is going to have some kind of impact on the environment along its path of use