The Truth About Environmentally Friendly Play Mats
In a world where eco-conscious choices are becoming increasingly important, parents are constantly seeking safe and environmentally friendly products for their little ones. Play mats are no exception, and one term that often crops up is "environmentally friendly play mats". Are TPU play mats really environmentally friendly, and what is the truth behind their eco-credentials?
At the last baby expo we attended, a mum asked me whether our mats were environmentally friendly and my answer to her was, I’m still trying to get this verified. Here’s why and where our journey has taken us so far…
👉 Are TPU Play Mats Really Environmentally Friendly?
Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), is a popular material for play mats due to its durability and non-toxic properties. However, the question of whether TPU play mats are genuinely environmentally friendly is a complex one. While TPU is known for its resistance to wear and tear, it's not necessarily a "green" material. TPU is derived from petrochemicals, which are not renewable resources, and its production process can be energy-intensive. But, most importantly the biggest claim made around these is the status as biodegradable (more on that shortly).
👉 TPU is Non-Toxic
One of the significant advantages of TPU play mats is their non-toxic nature. TPU does not contain harmful chemicals like PVC, lead, or phthalates, making it a safe choice for children. This non-toxic attribute is undoubtedly an essential factor when selecting play mats for your kids.
👉 Not Certified as Biodegradable
A critical aspect of environmentally friendly products is their biodegradability. Unfortunately, despite many companies stating TPU play mats are biodegradable most companies are just taking the word of their manufacturer. I have been on the hunt for a year trying to secure further research into this and want to be 100% sure that our play mats are biodegradable before I make this claim (if anyone can help please reach out). But as I haven't been able to get our TPU play mats certified as biodegradable I don’t make this claim. This means that, when disposed of, they may not decompose as quickly or naturally, potentially adding to landfill waste. So instead, we actively promote the after life uses of your play mat.
👉 Honesty Matters at Freddy and Co
At Freddy and Co, we believe in being transparent about the environmental impact of our products. While TPU play mats offer various benefits, we've made the conscious decision not to advertise them as "eco-friendly" (a common term used in marketing greenwashing). We want our customers to make informed choices based on accurate information. We acknowledge that while TPU play mats are non-toxic, their "eco-friendliness" is still debatable and we're dedicated to being honest about it. Watch this space, as I’m still working on it.
We understand that parents want the best for their children, and our commitment to transparency ensures that you can make informed choices. Remember, the meaning of the term "environmentally friendly", among other marketing terms, can vary, so it's crucial to do your own research and consider all factors when selecting products for your family — don’t be afraid to ask the tricky questions!