Image by Christina Kennedy (source: Wikimedia Commons)

I’ve wanted to campaign for this for a long time. Restaurant or kids’ meal toys have always bugged me. For, as good as the marketing idea behind them might be, it only makes their existence and popularity all the more absurd. Toys in kids’ meals are a selling trick, and simply nothing more.

Restaurant toys are not REAL toys. They are Asian manufactured gadgets of average to low quality, often unfit for toddlers, but equally unfit for any other child, as they are unable to entertain children longer than it takes them to stuff a burger and some fries down their throats. So the life span of the restaurant or kids’ meal toy is extremely short. I suppose the toy exists longer in a state of being nothing (in a plastic bag, in a container coming from Asia, in a cardboard box waiting to be unpacked or in the dustbin it eventually ends up in) than in the actual toy state in the hands of a child. This thought alone makes the existence of such toys so impossible to grasp for me. Kids’ meal toys are nothing more than piles of junk causing a huge carbon footprint and lots of waste.

So today, while McDonalds and other restaurant owners are disappointed about the decision of San Francisco authorities to impose a ban on giving away toys with kids’ meals that don’t meet certain nutritional standards, well I’m happy.

Of course the decision to ban the kids’ meal toys is not based on ecological concerns, but one cannot hope to get everything all the time, and must be able to settle for the next best thing. So in this case, although it’s health issues that pushed for the ban (equally important to ecological issues), the result is not only good for kids but for the planet too. A big hooray for San Francisco!

Additional resources:
Make sure to read “The price of comfort and convenience” by Chris on the Localizer Blog for more insights and thoughts on kids’ meals toys.