Natural Toy Review
For this natural toy review, I purchased a set of Zoe b Organic Fantastic Anti-Plastic Beach Toys for my son on Amazon for $14.99.
Zoe b Organic offers beach toys and children's dishes made from biodegradable bioplastic. If washed out to sea, buried in soil, or composted, the Fantastic Anti-Plastic beach toys will biodegrade in 2 to 3 years. In contrast, traditional petroleum based plastic does not fully degrade, but after around 500 years it will have broken into tiny little pieces, which can still be dangerous to wildlife.
The five piece Zoe b Organic beach toy set includes a square bucket, a lid/sifter, a shovel and two cups. I purchased the turquoise/lime color combo, but it also comes in a pink/orange combo.
The age recommendation is 18+ months, due to the small size of the toys being perfect for toddler hands. I bought the set for my 8-month-old son and it is a perfect fit for him and his friends, who are around one-year-old.
Zoe b Organic was founded by Valerie Lecoeur, a green mom, who thinks we should take care of our planet for the sake of our children. After creating the first biodegradable beach toys, she ventured to the middle of the Pacific Ocean to witness plastic pollution first hand.
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a huge mass of garbage circulating in the currents located between Hawaii and California. Much of the debris is non-biodegradable plastic.[1. Great Pacific Garbage Patch, National Geographic Education, http://education.nationalgeographic.com/education/encyclopedia/great-pacific-garbage-patch/?ar_a=1] Floating plastic can be very harmful to marine animals, that mistakenly eat plastic trash thinking it is food or become trapped in plastic rings from six packs of soda. (That's why I always cut all the plastic circles before throwing them away. In an ideal world those plastic rings would not end up in our ocean, but in reality they do.)
Beach toys are the perfect place to start in combatting the accumulation of plastic garbage in the ocean. Many beach toys are swept out to sea by unexpected waves or when children leave them too close to the approaching tide line. If Zoe b Organic Fantastic Anti-Plastic Beach Toys are accidentally lost to the ocean, they will break down in 2-3 years, rather than adding to the garbage patch.
|Zoe b Organic||Fantastic Anti-Plastic Beach Toys||Turquoise/Lime||5 Pieces||$22|
A Natural Alternative to
Fantastic Anti-Plastic Beach Toys are a biodegradable plant-based alternative to conventional petroleum-based plastic toys.
Anti-Plastic Biodegradable Material
The Mirel™ bioplastic used for Zoe b Organic beach toys is made from PHA, a polymer produced by microbial fermentation of corn sugar. The corn is grown in Iowa, and the toys are also made in the USA. Unfortunately, since most of the corn grown in the USA is GMO, the corn used for making the bioplastic is GMO and contributes to pesticide pollution.
The toys are free from BPA, phthalates and PVC, making them safer than many toys made from petroleum-based plastics.
I was so happy to find these eco-friendly anti-plastic beach toys! So far I have managed to avoid buying my son plastic toys. Instead, his natural toy collection consists of natural rubber, organic cotton, and natural wooden toys. I feel better about him playing with and chewing on these bioplastic toys than petroleum-based plastic toys.
The beach toys come with very minimal packaging, just a thin cardboard ring to hold the lid onto the bucket.
Our toys look, feel, and hold up exactly like ordinary plastic. The only difference is, they're safer for kids, with no nasty chemicals--and safer for the planet, completely biodegrading in 2-3 years if washed out to sea. Be Fantastic Anit-Plastic!
The Zoe b Organic beach toys are thick and sturdy, so you don't have to worry about them falling apart. The bioplastic looks and feels like regular plastic.
The turquoise and lime color combo is perfect for my son, since I love to dress him in blue, aqua, and green.
The square beach bucket is a bit smaller than some beach toys, at approximately 5"x5"x5". The small size is perfect for my 8-month-old baby boy. I also prefer that it is small, since I will be carrying it in my beach bag while wearing my baby and walking to the beach.
Fun with Zoe b Organic Fantastic Anti-Plastic Beach Toys
My 8-month-old son and his friends all enjoy playing with these Zoe b Organic beach toys.
As soon as the beach toys arrived I started photographing them. My son crawled over and stole the shovel from my set up. Later that day I left the bucket of beach toys in his play area. When he found them he immediately took the lid off the bucket and poured the toys out. He picked up one of the little cups and put it to his mouth and tried to drink out of it. It was a proud-mother moment for me. We skipped the sippy cups and went straight to giving him open drinking glasses. I was proud to see that he knew how to use a cup. He, on the other hand, was disappointed that there was no liquid in the cup. I just hope he doesn't try to drink the ocean salt water out of the cups! I'll be keeping a close eye on him to make sure he doesn't.
My son has been playing with these beach toys everyday since we got them, both at home and at the beach. The shovel is great for scooping sand and the little cups are the perfect size for his hands. He also enjoys pointing at the circle, star, square, and triangle shapes on the lid. I like that the toys fit back into the bucket for storage.
We took the Fantastic Anti-Plastic Beach Toys with us to his friend's 1-year-old birthday party at the beach, and his friends had fun playing with them. While we were getting situated we set the toys near our beach towel, and before we knew it one of his friends had toddled over and started playing with them. I was happy to explain to the other moms that they are made from biodegradable corn-based material.
Favorite Aspect : My favorite thing about Zoe b Organic Beach Toys is that they are eco-friendly, while being cute and fun at the same time!
Least Favorite Aspect: My least favorite aspect is that they are made from GMO corn, which contributes to pesticide pollution.
Rating (5 / 5)
Natural material: Zoe b Organic Fantastic Anti-Plastic Beach Toys earn their first star for being made from biodegradable plant-based material.
Packaging: The beach toys earn another star for eco-friendly packaging, since they had minimal packaging of a lightweight cardboard ring and contained a paper postcard explaining the dangers of plastic to marine life.
Effectiveness: These beach toys are a step in the right direction for reducing marine pollution. We have not yet tried composting the toys, but unlike some biodegradable bioplastics, they should break down in a regular backyard compost set up, rather than requiring an industrial composting facility.
Value for your money: Even though these biodegradable beach toys cost about twice as much as regular plastic beach toys, they are still a good value for your money. Petroleum-based plastic toys may seem cheap when you first purchase them, but that is because you are not paying for their long-term environmental impact.
Fun to use: Zoe b Organic beach toys earn another star for being fun to play with. Right now they are my son's favorite toys, even for playing with at home.
Overall: Zoe b Organic Fantastic Anti-Plastic Beach Toys earn 5 out of 5 stars and are highly recommended. It's like these biodegradable beach toys were made just for my son! They meet Mommy's strict environmental and safety standards and he loves playing with them. I will most likely purchase these toys again as a gift.
Where to Buy Zoe b Organic Beach Toys
Find a retailer.
Do you love these biodegradable beach toys as much as I do?