Recycling Sinterklaas – present swaps surge in popularity


At least 123 formal toy swaps are being organised by parents all over the country in the run-up to this year’s Sinterklaas celebrations.

Recycle Sint, launched in 2013, has even set up a special website giving tips about how to organise a swap so that parents can get rid of unwanted toys from last year and pick up a new supply.

Elif Algu launched Recycle Sint after returning from a Sinterklaas party laden down with presents. ‘I wanted to inspire people to do something good for yourself and the world,’ she said.

‘You can easily swap toys rather than buying new ones,’ she told the Volkskrant. ‘At first we were dismissed as green nutcases but I want to take it wider. Swapping has to become the logical thing to do. And this year, richer places such as Aerdenhout are also joining in.’

In 2018 there were 101 swap evenings and 35,000 toys changed hands. The toys that don’t find a new home are given to charity.

Algu now has plans to take her campaign abroad and the first Recycle Santa event will take place in Singapore. ‘We are not done yet,’ she says. ‘People are still buying too much plastic.’

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