We love well-designed toys here at SolidSmack but still, you may be thinking, “This is just a plastic turtle”. Well, believe it or not, this wee plastic turtle is a toy… and a bit of a dark, foreboding, guilt-laden memorial to all the marine life killed off by mindless waste disposal. But more than that, it’s turning waste into a beloved turtle toy for a child or your own collection of turtle memorabilia.
Shaken by the number of animal deaths caused by oceanic waste and the theory that, in 2050, there could be more plastic in the oceans than fish, Claire Matthews created Greta The Great – a plastic turtle made from discarded fishing nets and other discarded waste.
Where does the plastic come from? Unwanted or discarded plastic maritime industry materials such as old nets and ropes (that make up about 10% of ocean plastic pollution) are collected from shores and ports all over the world. The waste is then sorted and tested for toxic chemicals before it is processed to be made into the muted green or coral turtle designs you see before you.
The quality assurance doesn’t stop there. Since the turtles are made with toddlers in mind, they undergo another round of testing for bisphenol A (BPA) and heavy metals after manufacturing. The twice-tested Gretas are then packaged in biodegradable boxes and sent out to all the budding young ecologists and conservationists around the world.
If you’re wondering why the turtle has a mildly appealing modern design, even to adults, it’s because they were designed by Tim Rundle, an industrial designer whose talents lie in the furniture, lighting, and interior product design industry, who applied his minimalistic appeal to the toy design.
The idea was to have a toy which wasn’t just fun for kids but also nice to look at anywhere in the house. Like people who leave their nets in the sea, kids don’t like cleaning up after themselves, so having a pleasant-looking, recycled plastic turtle laying on the living room floor makes it more acceptable while serving as another stark reminder to put plastics in their place.
Greta the Great is currently live on Kickstarter and just about to hit their funding goal. You can snag one for about $20 and have it in time for Christmas 2020. If you liked well-designed toys as well and want to turn plastic waste into a nice memento for your kiddos, give this recycled plastic turtle a shot.