Recycle to Read & The Toy Take Back

Recycling plastic toys in association with EPPIC and Products of Change

Wastebuster Busta hanging on the side of a toy box

Wastebuster is the UK’s leading environmental education company specialising in recycling reward campaigns that unlock social, economic and environmental benefits for the societies in which they operate.

Formed in 2006 to inform, inspire and empower children to activate change, Wastebuster now deliver  a multi-award winning sustainable development education programme, The Pod, run national Waste Week and have over 24,000 schools in their environmental education network, both in the UK and internationally.

Wastebuster is offering an environmental, economically efficient solution for the recycling of plastic toys, that has been developed in association with EPPIC (Extended Plastics Partnership for Innovation in Circularity) and Products of Change.

The Toy Take Back is part of a broader programme designed to help communities recycle right and recycle more, whilst providing new infrastructure to process hard to recycle plastics. The ‘Recycle to Read’ scheme will collect plastic toys (plus textiles and waste electrical and electronic items) and demonstrate their value by exchanging them for books and reading resources for schools.

The Toy Take Back is more than just a recycling campaign or environmental educational programme.  It is a dynamic research project that aims to support the move towards a more circular and sustainable future for toy production, through multi-stakeholder collaboration including industry, government and consumers.

By becoming a supporter of the Toy Take Back you can:

  • Help ensure the toy industry has a sustainable future
  • Proactively lead change ahead of government legislation
  • Access intelligence on the reyclability of plastic toys and product design 
  • Demonstrate responsibility for the products your products in the market
  • Give assurance to consumers that you are a responsible business
  • Access resources to promote responsible consumption to consumers

The Toy Take Back Solution

Toy Recycling

  • The infrastructure, technology and network has been developed and will be managed to collect and recycle plastic toys
  • Dedicated collection points will be set up in participating schools and retailers
  • Schools will be recruited through Wastebuster’s school network
  • Schools and retailers will be supplied with suitable collection receptacles, signage and promotional materials
  • Suitable toys will be re-circulated for reuse via charity partners
  • Our recycling partners will create new products such as playground equipment and outdoor furniture with the recycled plastic
  • Research will be undertaken into new plastic recycling technologies and toy product design for recyclability to provide members with industry guidelines and recommendations

Awareness and Education

  • A UK-wide school’s campaign will be launched on Wastebuster’s education platform, The Pod, to provide information and educational resources based on the Toy Take Back Scheme
  • A new Wastebuster entertainment platform for kids will engage families directly in the home
  • Toy Take Back members will be provided with a fully comprehensive style guide which includes the Wastebuster characters, assets and educational messaging along with a calendar of themes to complement the programme
  • Bold, colourful, branding and use of Wastebuster’s characters will give the collection points maximum standout and engagement

Recycling Rewards

  • The campaign will be titled ‘Recycle to Read’ (R2R) with key initiatives and rewards, to encourage consumers to recycle toys to support children’s literacy.  The rewards being funded by the value of the recycled materials collected from schools (toys, textiles and WEEE) and member sponsorship
  • Families that recycle in school or in retail stores will gain reward points for their local school, which will be added to a school’s league table, where schools with high levels of community participation can gain access to ‘Recycle to Read’ (R2R) reward points that can be exchanged for books and magazine subscriptions (digital and hard copy)
  • Digital badge rewards will be available for children learning and recycling (in school and in participating stores) via the consumer facing Wastebuster Kids platform, where children can unlock additional site features with each badge they collect
  • Wastebuster reward themes will be refreshed to keep interest in the programme over a longer period of time e.g. Recycle to Play, Recycle for Sport, Recycle for Eco-Clubs etc
Wastebuster Busta

Become a Supporter

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Help spread the message

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Align your brands with environmental messaging 

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Improve the recyclability of your toys

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Engage your customers in recycling more



By bringing together a critical mass of key stakeholders the Wastebuster Toy Take Back can deliver a functioning and efficient recycling system for plastic toys that benefits it's members, society and most importantly, the environment. Renowned organisations and environment experts have already committed to coming on board.


Sign up to attend the webinar on Dec 15th 11:00-12:00 GMT

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DECEMBER 15th 2020 | 11-00-12.00 GMT

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Introduction Webinar Video – 23rd July 2020

This webinar video provides an introduction to Recycle to Read & The Wastebuster Toy Take Back.

Round Table Webinar Video – 12th August 2020

This webinar video is the round table webinar for Recycle to Read & The Wastebuster Toy Take Back.

Local Authority Webinar Video – 5th November 2020

This webinar video is the local authority webinar for Recycle to Read & The Wastebuster Toy Take Back.