Top tips on how to prevent lost items this back-to-school season

Every parent knows the pain and stress that follows when your child loses their favourite toy. Not to mention the amount of times they’ve misplaced a sock, a backpack or an errant piece of their school uniform.

In fact, according to a study conducted by leading name label manufacturer, My Nametags, children’s lost toys generate almost 500 tonnes of plastic waste per year in Ireland, the equivalent of over 30 million plastic bottles ending up in landfill. 

90 percent of toys sold globally are made from plastic. With up to 5.5 million plastic toys lost permanently every year in Ireland, these present a significant waste problem. What’s more, toys alone don’t show the full extent of Ireland’s lost property problem. Children permanently lose 13 possessions every year on average, equating to a staggering 13 million items lost per year in total in Ireland, many of which have a high plastic content.

In order to help parents prevent lost items this back-to-school season, My Nametags have put together a list of top tips and ingenious hacks to make clothing last longer.

Top tips for preventing lost items:

  1. Create designated compartments in your children’s bag – encouraging them to pack everything away in the same place and repeating the same routine each day will make it easier for them to remember.

  2. Keep small objects in a pocket or purse with a zip.

  3. Use name labels – especially for items that are regularly taken out of the home to school or nursery, labelling items makes it easier for people to return them if they become lost. Also consider adding a phone number as well as a name.

  4. Do a double – before leaving the house, school or anywhere else, get your child in the habit of double-checking that they have everything, it’s easier to find lost items when they first go missing than later down the line.

  5. Attach a smart finder – for more valuable possessions, consider attaching a smart finder which will track your item wherever it goes.

Top tips for making clothing last longer:

  1. Quality over quantity – where possible, opt for a few quality pieces over lots of low-cost items. Cheaper garments tend to be made from synthetic fabrics which will wear much quicker and have a negative impact on the environment.

  2. Don’t overfill the washing machine – overfilling a washing machine not only means clothes won’t wash properly but they will also rub against each other more which can cause damage and fading.

  3. Reduce the amount of fabric detergent – using large amounts of detergent can increase the fragility of some fabrics, such as Lycra, and can cause them to become stiff.

  4. Wash dark clothing inside out – to avoid dark clothing fading, wash them inside out to preserve the colour. This also works for graphic t-shirts to prevent the print from cracking and fading.

  5. Fold instead of hang – hanging heavy items like woollen jumpers can cause the fabric to stretch and create misshapen clothing.

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