McDONALDS HAPPY MEAL PLASTIC TOY.
During a recent beach clean / sea glass hunt, my husband (aka Señor Cseaglass) came along with me (cheers hubs!) and picked up a McDonalds happy meal plastic toy. It was in quite good condition despite being in the sea for goodness knows how long. When we got home & googled the character - we were shocked to find out how old it was.
Who else remembers The Tweenies? Well, he found "Fizz", who, according to the bottom of her shoes, was manufactured in China in 2003!
That's 16 years and still looking like new. She will probably be around for another 516 years as plastic doesn't decompose and when it eventually does, it would be into teeny tweenie (get it?!) micro-plastics. These are extremely detrimental to all of us, especially in the food chain - plankton will eat it, then small fish, then big fish, then humans if we eat the fish! This is what happens to plastic when we throw it away, - it just doesn't go "away". These plastic toys aren't recyclable either.
In 2003, the BBC stopped McDonalds from using their Tweenies characters as they had been criticised for promoting unhealthy junk food - (high in fat, salt and sugar) - to small children.
I wonder how many of these "Happy" meal toys (which also came sealed in clear non recyclable plastic bags too!) McDonalds have distributed globally over the years? And how many have been tossed into the trash globally over the years? I can imagine the numbers would be mind boggling. Millions probably - all still out there somewhere!
Have you ever found any washed up on a shoreline around the world? If you do beach cleans, what's the oldest item you've picked up? I'd love to know......