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Wiltopia Playmobil: from waste to a sustainable toy

German company Playmobil has launched Wiltopia, a range of unusual animal figures such as a tapir, a manatee and an anteater, to raise children's awareness of the need to protect biodiversity. It is also the toy manufacturer’s first range of products to be made from more than 80% sustainable materials, recycled plastics and biosourced plastics.
Wiltopia Playmobil: from waste to a sustainable toy
Wiltopia Playmobil: from waste to a sustainable toy

The plastic used to make the figures comes from the recycled inner walls of Large Cold Household Appliances (LCHAs), i.e. discarded refrigerators, which will now be given a second life.

Preserving virgin resources and protecting the environment by giving used materials a second life.

To do this, Playmobil called on Coolrec, a European company specialising in recycling and a subsidiary of Renewi, the leading waste recovery company operating mainly in the Benelux. Coolrec is based in the Netherlands, Belgium and France and makes use of a well-functioning collection system to collect used refrigerators, which are then dismantled and shredded. During this process, the raw materials are recovered in various fractions and are divided into metals and plastics, among others. Using advanced mechanical recycling techniques, the various plastics are sorted and then converted into granules.

It is the granules of ABS - the plastic that makes up the inside of fridges, but also the plastic used to make Playmobil figures - that Coolrec and Playmobil recover and convert into a secondary raw material. This is how your old fridge is going to be reincarnated as a manatee or an anteater. It took Playmobil years of research to develop this new range of toys. "Our brand is known for the quality and durability of its products. However, recycled plastic is often more brittle, with less brilliant colours and a different feel," explains Cécile L'Hermite, Marketing Manager at Playmobil. But the operation was a success, and the first 27 Wiltopia products made their way into shops last July. These new products fully comply with the very strict regulations on the use of recycled plastic in toys!

Virtuous recycling and awareness of the need to sort

Won over by its sustainable production method, the Toy of the Year 2022 jury elected Wiltopia Toy of the Year in the living worlds category. It must be said that, in addition to making children from an early age aware of the need to protect biodiversity, the range of toys is accompanied by a fun and educational video ( which will help children discover the importance of recycling materials for the survival of the earth, its flora and its fauna.

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