Where are Plan Toys Made & Are They Sustainable?
Where are Plan Toys Made & Are PlanToys Sustainable?
Plantoys is a wooden toy manufacturer based in Trang in Southern Thailand. The headquarters are based in Bangkok. They started on 11th June 1981.
Are Plantoys Sustainable?
Plantoys are made from either solid rubber wood or Planwood. The rubber wood is sustainable because it is a waste product of the rubber industry. The rubber trees left over by this industry were a waste product and were burned creating huge smoke plumes.
The local farmers plant the trees from seedlings. Then wait 5-7 years for them to grow before they can harvest them. The tree stops producing latex after 25 years and traditionally would then have been burned. Once a rubber tree’s product has dropped off, it is cut down and used to ‘smoke’ lower grade rubber to make it slightly higher quality. However, this leads to huge ‘smoke’ and pollution and it was this process that inspired Vitool, one of the founders of Plantoys, to change things. He had the idea to add value to this wood and to use it to make something rather than just have it burned. Plantoys were the first manufacturer in the world to use this waste rubber wood to make educational wooden toys.
The rubber tree trunks are used for the solid wood toys. To keep the wood pure for toys for children, no fertiliser is used in the soil 3 years prior to plantoys using it. They then use a kiln dry process to dry the wood, without any chemicals and make it stronger.
Factory Waste & PlanWood
Plan toys are made in their own manufacturing facility in Trang and all of their materials come from within 30km of their factory and nothing, no nothing is wasted!
During the process of production they have a lot of sawdust. This sawdust came from the turning, sawing and sanding processes used in the manufacture of the toys. The waste sawdust from the factory is used to make their own material PlanWood which is made using their sawdust waste and e-zero glue. Using their own patented formula they make super durable, waterproof toys from their own waste product. So the waste product, of the waste product is used! Sustainability in it's finest form! Rather than see all this sawdust wasted, they innovated and created a new form of material. The planwood is more durable than rubberwood allowing Plantoys to extend their product line. It's also waterproof meaning that Plantoys can now create bath toys, a new specialty for them. They are the only manufacturer of wooden toys which can be used and played with in water.
Nothing is wasted in the Plan Toys factory. Everything is transformed in the factory and made into something, even the tree's roots! The roots and other wood pieces which cannot be used to make toys are converted into biomass energy in their factory.
Plantoys E-Zero glue
For the rubber wood toys, they do not use any chemical processes or treatment to make the toys. The adhesive that they use is called E-Zero glue and contains 0% formaldehyde, is derived from plants and doesn’t contain harmful chemicals.
What exactly is formaldehyde? Formaldehyde is a colorless, strong-smelling gas used in making building materials and many household products. Unfortunately, exposure to formaldehyde has been shown to cause cancer in laboratory test animals and is used in most wood glues but not by Plantoys!
So yes, Plantoys are very sustainable! Next read who are plantoys and find out the story behind the Plantoys brand!