The Mini-Magic: How Sustainable Miniatures Came To Life At Checkers

Blog header- Checkers LS3
15.08.2022 innovation

Sustainable miniatures? You heard it right!

Our all-time favorite miniature campaign is back at Checkers for a third edition! For Little Shop 3, UNGA and Checkers have teamed up to surprise their loyal shoppers with a major upgrade. That’s right! We managed to go even more sustainable on every single item on the line-up, using FSC-certified paper & cardboard, and 100% recycled plastic that would end up in the landfill otherwise.

How did we turn old materials into sustainable toy miniatures that families, kids, and future generations can play with for years to come? It’s finally time to unveil the secret. Let’s take a quick trip together!

How the Miniature Magic is Created

Refrigerators. Water Bottles. Goggles. You name it! Thanks to the brilliant minds from UNGA, we gave life once more to these discarded items and transformed them into the high-quality  sustainable miniatures that families fell in love with!

Using only one old refrigerator, we gave birth to more than 200 honey minis! Even better, a half-liter disposed water bottle was transformed into 10 spaghetti minis. Did we mention swimming goggles? One pair of discarded swimming goggles gave us 9 Sunfoil minis among the 24 different mini collectibles that families can collect!

Let’s take a little sneak peek at our 6 steps to success:

  • Step 1: Refrigerator parts, bottles, and goggles were collected and transported to the recycling center
  • Step 2: These items were then taken apart and disassembled
  • Step 3: The plastic components were shredded, sorted, freshened up, and transformed into tiny little flakes
  • Step 4: The plastic flakes were melted and turned into even smaller pellets
  • Step 5: The pellets were tested to ensure they meet toy safety standards
  • Step 6: The pellets were transformed into your favorite miniatures!

That’s how the magic is done at UNGA, where existing materials that would have otherwise ended up in landfills are given one more chance to become world-renowned mini brands! Our sustainable line-up wouldn’t be complete without some high-quality minis made from sustainably sourced and FSC-certified cardboard and paper, making sure that our forests stay green and taken care of.


Fridge? Goggles? Water bottles? Now sustainable miniatures!

Why did we choose this trio as our main materials for Little Shop? Let’s talk about science!

The RHIPS plastic found in fridges is extremely useful for making minis thanks to its color, safety and reliability. Additionally, the RPC plastic found in swimming goggles is also used for its transparency, a perfect fit for our transparent minis. Finally, RPET plastic in bottles was used to make flexible and thin parts so that our minis can take on multiple forms and products!

We’re very proud to have revived up to 38 000 fridges, more than 165 000 goggles, and 210 000 plastic bottles in only one single Little Shop campaign! Thanks to the sustainable miniatures from Checkers Little Shop 3 campaign, the plastic that would end up in landfills is now amazing toy miniatures loved by families. Moreover, with an efficient manufacturing process, our minis take up less energy and oil to produce, therefore emitting lower CO2 levels – making a “mini-mized” impact on our planet.

One Step Further with Retailers

One amazing perk of having more sustainable campaigns, just like Little Shop, is its endless possibilities for more sustainable initiatives. In every Little Shop campaign, UNGA teams up with retailers to educate families and shoppers about the importance of recycling and taking care of the environment.

Checkers Little Shop 3 is no different. To support the environment, the South African retailer also launched a recycling initiative where families and kids can return their unwanted minis back to their local stores. This way, the leftover minis never go to waste. Well done, team Checkers! 👏

Read more about Checkers Little Shop 3 here.

At UNGA, sustainability is at the heart of our operations. We’re always on the run to develop and offer more innovative, sustainable alternatives and eco-friendly materials for creative loyalty campaigns – creating a greener planet for future generations while putting smiles on families and retailers all across the globe.

Are you ready to become a part of our mission? Get in touch with us!


Want to know more about our sustainable innovations?

Let's chat!


Receive our newest case studies and interesting reads once a month.