Industry News and Updates

Pennsylvania Stuffed Toy Laws — Recycled Materials [Update: June 2024]


If you are a manufacturer or retailer of stuffed toys, there’s good news on the horizon. Three senators from the state of Pennsylvania intend to introduce legislation to amend the Stuffed Toy Manufacturing Act to account for the use of recycled materials.

Here’s what the Stuffed Toy Manufacturing Act is and what this new legislation means for manufacturers and retailers of stuffed toys

Update: June 2024 — HB 1333 Signed Into Law

Effective June 28, 2024, Pennsylvania’s governor has signed into law an update to Pennsylvania’s Stuffed Toy Laws (Act No. 30 of 2024). This update allows recycled materials and terminology to be used in stuffed toys shipping or selling to Pennsylvania. The law is to take effect on August 27, 2024.  

Changes that occurred pertaining to recycled materials:  

Pennsylvania added two new definitions to their laws for reclaimed material and recycled material (see below): 

  • "Reclaimed material" shall mean any material that would have otherwise been disposed of as waste and has been collected and reclaimed as material input, in lieu of new primary material, for recycling purposes. 
  • "Recycled material" shall mean any material that has been reprocessed from reclaimed material by means of a manufacturing process and made into a final product or into a component for incorporation into a final product. 

Pennsylvania also updated their requirements for stuffed toy labels. Per the new laws the label must contain "a statement that the type of material used in the manufacture of the stuffed toy is new, recycled or a mix of new and recycled materials.”  

What does this mean in Pennsylvania? 

Starting August 27, 2024, Pennsylvania will allow recycled materials to be used in stuffed toys and recycled terminology to used on the toy label.  

Note: GRS is working with the other states that regulate stuffed toys, Ohio and Massachusetts, to see what Pennsylvania's labeling changes mean for their state labeling requirements. Updates will be provided as they are available.  

What's next?

There may be even more good news on the way. With Pennsylvania's law modernized, efforts are now being made to tackle Ohio's similarly antiquated legislation and pave the way for recycled filling materials in that state as well.

Stay tuned to the GRS newsletter for more information as it comes!

What is the Stuffed Toy Manufacturing Act?

Pennsylvania’s Stuffed Toy Manufacturing Act was passed on July 25, 1961. It put forth rules and regulations relating to stuffed toys sold in the state, including filling materials and sterilization procedures among others.

The Act placed the responsibility of compliance upon manufacturers, retailers and distributors of stuffed toys, and set penalties for those who fail to comply.

Why Is The Act Being Updated?

When the original Stuffed Toy Manufacturing Act was passed in 1961, recycled materials were not yet widely used as filling in stuffed toys. 

A memo from the three senators responsible for the new legislation explains, “As manufacturing processes have evolved and consumer preferences have changed, the use of recycled materials in stuffed toys has become more prevalent.”

The memo continues, “Using recycled materials in products is safe for consumers. Recycled material that is currently used in stuffed toys goes through the same extensive testing and safety review, and meets all current industry standards, as new material.”

Since recycled materials have been deemed safe for consumers, many states and countries have modernized their laws allowing it as a filling material. This update is an attempt to bring Pennsylvania in line with all other global stuffed toy requirements.

What Does This Legislation Mean For Manufacturers And Retailers Of Stuffed Toys?

In theory, this update to the Stuffed Toy Manufacturing Act should mean fewer compliance headaches for manufacturers and retailers of stuffed toys.

If you’re like many organizations, you’ve set sustainability goals for the product you manufacture or sell. Recycled materials are often the key to attaining those goals, as well as connecting with environmentally conscious consumers.

Pennsylvania’s updated Act will empower manufacturers and retailers to make and sell stuffed toys in the state that are filled with recycled materials, like they do throughout the rest of the United States and abroad.

Stay On The Cutting Edge Of Compliance

While there are no actions needed to comply with Pennsylvania’s updated Stuffed Toy Manufacturing Act, it’s a clear sign that it pays to stay informed about upcoming compliance legislation across the U.S.

GRS’ newsletter is the best way to stay up to date on legislation that could affect your business. Subscribe to our newsletter and let GRS keep you ahead of compliance headaches.

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