Waitrose has banned comics aimed at children from including plastic toys and encouraging publishers to think of alternatives.
The move was inspired by Skye, a 10 year old from Wales, and her campaign to ban the ‘pointless plastic’ on comics as children think more about their environment. ComicScene and other children have made similar calls over the last two years.
The current crop of comics, many based on licensed products, will remain on Waitrose shelves for the next eight weeks and then be removed.
We now encourage all WHSmiths, supermarkets and distributors to follow suit but also consider the high charges for stocking comics. We want to encourage making comics available (toy free) to encourage reading and improving literacy in the young. We’d also like to see a wider range of children’s graphic novels alongside the Beano, Commando, Phoenix and 2000AD.
If children fall out of the habit of reading comics and magazines we feel literacy and creativity will suffer and the newspaper and magazine market will also disappear in years to come, Many shops charge a distribution fee on top of the 50% or so they take off the cover price. We think that distribution charge should be dropped and hope publishers reflect the lack of toys and additional cost in the price of their comics.
If you support taking plastic toys off Comics sign the petition here
If you think dropping the additional distribution charge on top of a cover price cut in Comics is a good idea comment or leave your name here and we will pass this story on to the shops for your thoughts.
On one of my appearances on STV’s Scotland Tonight, I criticised Tesco, in particular, for their insistence on all comics being bagged with a toy. I was aware as I spoke that the presenter was getting a message in her earphones. “Tesco aren’t here to defend themselves,” she said. I pointed out that this was a fact, not a matter for debate. In the Green Room after transmission (it’s live), the Producer said he wished I hadn’t mentioned Tesco, because they were one of the advertisers. Not surprising that I haven’t been on since… Hats off to Skye for doing more than I was able to. Lets see Tesco’s response.
Took them long enough. I hope, that it inspires other countries.