***Updated- See below***
On February 10, 2009, a new law goes into effect for children's clothing and toy manufacturing. The law, called the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), focuses on the safety of toys and clothes intended for children under 12 as far as lead and phthalates. It also will label any inventory of toys not manufactured under the new standards as "a banned hazardous substance", making it illegal to sell, offer for sale or otherwise distribute these items.
The fallout from all of this is that many if not all thrift stores, especially those that specialize in children's items, will be forced to purge their inventory. Landfills will be overflowing with perfectly good toys and clothing that are banned from thrift and resale shops and these shops will have to close their doors. More jobs lost for us and more tax revenue lost for our cities.
The safety factor is something we can all agree on. As parents, we all want safer toys, clothes, etc. for our children. As savvy consumers, this will effect items that we can donate to, sell at or buy from thrift stores, consignment shops, garage sales and online. In a quote from this story about this issue in the L.A. Times, one thrift shop owner said;
"We will have to lock our doors and file for bankruptcy," said Shauna Sloan, founder of Salt Lake City-based franchise Kid to Kid, which sells used children's clothing in 75 stores across the country and had planned to open a store in Santa Clara, Calif., this year.
Here is one side of the argument from The Simple Dollar.
Here's a different take from SolidSmack.com in which consumers are encouraged to voice their opinion about the law.
In my opinion, the government and many citizens are getting too uptight. How many children have worn clothing or played with toys made with these so called, "hazardous substances" and had absolutely no problems? How many more of these bans and regulations must we put up with before everyone is living in a plastic bubble? And even then, the bubble would have to be made of a pre-approved, non-lead, non-phthalate, non-plastic, organic plastic. Please. I fear that it will get to the point that we are so saturated with hand sanitizer that we will have no good bacteria or immunities left and we'll all contract some super bug that we've created in our anal-retentive, "ick-proof" world and it will wipe us all out!
Not to mention the precedent this sets. What happens in 10 years when they find yet another substance that night be harmful? Do we then pass another law that will flood our landfills with the old versions of these products?
Just today, the CPSIA sent out a news release pertaining to this new law that is supposed to clarify the requriements for thrift and resale shops. It is a quick read. You be the judge as to whether it clarifies anything or not.
So what's your opinion? Is this fair to frugal consumers and retailers? Is this fair to the environment? Will this law actually solve anything? Voice your opinion in comments.
That's all for this week's edition of Nifty Thrifty Thursday. Now get out there and save!
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