10-year-old Skye Neville from Fairbourne, Wales, is campaigning to stop plastic toy freebies being sold with children’s magazines.

Skye loves reading her favourite kids’ magazines, but hates that they come at a cost to the environment due to the free, often non-recyclable plastic toys on the front.

Many of these magazine toys – known as ‘covermounts’ – are thrown away, ending up in landfill. Some also have a large carbon footprint because they’re produced in China. This makes them cheaper to make, but means they’re transported huge distances to get them to the UK.

All in all, the tiny toys aren’t good for our planet – and Skye has had enough of them.

Do you want to be a changemaker, like Skye? Join the Dirt Is Good Academy – an exciting new website for kids who want to make a difference in the world!

Plastic petition!

Skye knew she had to take action against the “pointless plastic toys” that flood through her letterbox each month…

So, taking inspiration from two young girls – who succeeded in petitioning McDonald’s to remove plastic toys from its Happy Meals – Skye decided to launch a petition of her own. Her petition asks publishers to ban plastic toys on comics and magazines. After all, if McDonald’s can do the right thing, Skye thought, why can’t publishers?

“I just want the magazine”, Skye writes on her petition page. “I don’t want or need the cheap plastic toys which are either played with for a few minutes, or break on the first use and are thrown away.”

Instead, Skye wants magazines to offer sustainable and ethical gifts – or no gifts at all.

Her petition has already received over 3,500 signatures, and she’s hoping to get many more. Even more excitingly, publishers and news companies are already taking notice of Skye’s campaign. In February 2021, Skye’s campaign was featured in her local newspaper, and she’s now been written about by national publications, like the BBC!

Creating change

On the 23rd of March 2021, Waitrose announced its decision to no longer sell children’s magazines containing disposable plastic toys. Magazine publishers have eight weeks to change their ways – or face being banned from the supermarket’s shelves.

This decision was directly inspired by Skye’s stand against plastic – what an amazing result!

What is Nat Geo Kids doing?

Here at Nat Geo Kids HQ, we’ve been working hard to clean up our act for some time now. We’ll be honest with you, becoming green isn’t always easy, and the challenges are harder in some countries than in others, but we’re not going to let that stop us!

Over the past two years, we’ve made big changes to our UK and Ireland editions. We’ve switched the plastic bags our magazines used to come in for paper envelopes. We’re switching our free gifts to plastic-free (including plastic-free packaging), and soon these will be made of paper or card.

Plus, we’ve moved the production of our free gifts to the UK. This means that all our items are produced locally, supporting UK businesses, and don’t need to be shipped overseas to get here!

We’re hoping to make these important changes to our magazines in Australia and New Zealand soon, too. Plus, we’ve still got a little further to go before we’re completely plastic-free. For example, we still use a strip of sticky tape to attach gifts to the front of our magazines in shops. We’re searching for an eco-alternative and we’ll update you as soon as we have one!

Every voice matters!

All the changes that Nat Geo Kids have made for our planet, are thanks to amazing young kids like Skye and our Nat Geo Kids readers, who pushed us to do better. And it just goes to show, that speaking up for what you believe in really can make a difference!

You can still sign Skye’s petition here: change.org

Did you know we have a FREE downloadable Plastic Pollution primary resource? Great for teachers, homeschoolers and parents alike!

So, what do you think? Would you be happy to give up plastic gifts for the sake of the planet, or will you miss the plastic freebies? Let us know by leaving a comment, below!

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COMMENTS

  • dd

    BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!! #save the toys

  • Ellie

    ooooooOOoooo0 soo Co0l i will use less plastic

  • gamer oil 100,1111

    this is amazing you go girl!

  • Lucas

    Ofcourse

  • WinSol

    Let's take action!

  • Zoe

    This is an amazing initiative. I think we should really take action on this subject.

  • Dylaz

    Meh

  • This is great!

  • ninihsmtmts

    really cool

  • Amia

    This so amazing

  • Shravani Bhoir

    Well done skye! We are with you!

  • iris

    yes!! thankyou!! lets do this together!!

  • Elizabeth

  • Just don’t litter I like the freebies whatever those are

  • Klo

  • We can use plastic toys if we dispose of them properly

  • Mal

    Let's do this!

  • Amy

    I think this is really going to help the planet! I think everyone should stop this nonsense with all this plastic toys, i really hate what people put into the magazines these days!

  • Darlene

    This is a brilliant idea, they also need to ban the plastic toys that come in kinder eggs. They end up in the bin because they are just pointless! Thank you Skye!

  • Adelina

    Save the planet !!!!!!!

  • Kian

  • lj

    she is amazing

  • #SAVETHEWORLD!

  • Advita r

    DO THIS #takecareoftheplanet

  • Advita r

    Save the earth!

  • Cool

  • Diamond head

    Amazing

  • Well done skye ! we need to take action and save our planet !!

  • Rayan

    My avatar is cute

  • Reach out

    #savetheplanet

  • Anonymous

    Right thing to do. Well done! It should be the priority of the world!

  • Thea

    Good job skye

  • Cool CLo

    I also dislike when magazines are made of plasticy paper because it is bad for the environment and the magazines should be able to be made out of normal paper. And every time when I was smaller I used to get a magazine and then the toys would break and I would have to throw them away.

  • Well done Skye

  • Amazing Skye

  • zoey

    let's do this and put an end to this

  • Toca-tuber❤❤

    Great she's doing this!! Who needs adults?!

  • Toca-tuber❤❤

    It's so great she's doing this! It just inspires young kids to do things to save the world! Who needs adults?

  • Pokemon trainer1

    I would like all magazines to be like Natgeo kids plastic free gifts

  • jonas

    go now!

  • Budgie

    Great

  • To be honest with you I hardly ever get magazines but when I am out and about seeing other kids much younger than me pestering for a magizine I then realize the only reason they want the magazine is because it's got a fun looking plastic toy in it but they don't need it, there are way more safe non free plastic toys that are way more fun also I only like magazines especially natgeokids because they are about animals and I love learning new facts everyday P.s sorry my message is very long lol

  • Scarlett1000

    Let’s take action

  • Gurgle

    Well done Skye I have always hated those worthless little toys. YOU'RE MAKING A BIG DIFFERENCE

  • Laila

    wow!

  • Addy

    Who cares about the plastic. A mag should sell for the quality of the writing and whats inside not for the junky pieces of plastic

  • Elsie

    I'd be happy to give the toys up too. No one really uses them anyway.

  • WOW !

  • Amaya Brooke

    I am going to join the 'Dirt Is Good' Academy. Of course I'll give up the useless freebies!!! So inspiring to know that someone other than me is trying to make a difference! -Amaya, 10

  • Amaya Brooke

    I am going to join the 'Dirt Is Good' Academy. So inspiring to know that someone other than me is trying to make a difference and that I'm not alone. Good work, Skye! -Amaya, 10

  • Alex Shen

    I am amazed about it, seriously I can't belive how much my lego figure is causing the world trouble

  • harley

    AMAZING!

  • 1

    No We can't give up Legos

  • leo

    that means we have to give up legos!

  • liam

    Horrible things those freebies

  • Ameen

    I AGREE

  • nk

    yeppyyy

  • Izzy marshall harloe

    I am perfectly happy to give up the freebies.

  • Jack

    could you tell Skye I love her project I will give up those useless things.

  • ILOVEPUPPYSSOMUCH

    The plastic needs to stop it is ruining this earth we really need to help our world thank you Nat geo for using reusable wrapping!

  • Eva

    Well done skye!

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