Are Nerf Darts Harmful to The Environment?

As a general rule, Nerf darts are biodegradable as they are made of materials that can be decomposed. Nerf darts are made out of compressed foam and..

Nerf darts are a common purchase with Nerf blasters. As they start to become warn, is it safe to throw them in the trash or are they biodegradable?

As a general rule, Nerf darts are biodegradable as they are made of materials that can be decomposed. However, Nerf darts can can flow freely through storm drains and gutters, into streams, rivers, and the ocean. NERF darts similar to many other items highlight the failure of contemporary product design.

As a general rule, Nerf darts are biodegradable as they are made of materials that can be decomposed. Nerf darts are made out of compressed foam and..

What are Nerf Darts made out of?

Though the type and size of Nerf darts has changed over the years, what they are made of hasn't changed that much. Nerf Darts are made out of compressed foam and covered up with a non-toxic plastic coating. This plastic coating is made of recyclable Polyethylene.

So, for all you environmentally friendly people out there, Nerf is a pretty eco-friendly toy. Although Nerf darts are recyclable, most dart blasters have too many parts to be considered for recycling.

-You may be interested in reading: How Nerf Blasters can Be Recycled

Are nerf darts biodegradable?

Biodegradable means that it's safe to throw them away in the trash or on the ground.  So are nerf darts biodegradable?

Yes, and they will break down if left out in the environment. However since you wouldn't want to leave them outdoors because of animals eating it or more commonly breaking off the tip.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you don't want to leave any exposed foam lying around for your pets or children to play with because this could be a choking hazard.

You May Like - 5 Creative Dart Storage Ideas

How long do the darts take to decompose?

The decomposition of foam varies quite a bit depending on soil conditions and weather. In general, though, they usually break down within 2 years when left outdoors in good condition. This includes Nerf branded darts and aftermarket darts

It's unlikely that you will find a Nerf dart lying around outside after two years because the plastic tip breaks off very easily and animals tend to eat them as well so only flat foam pieces remain at this point. 

The problem with biodegrading isn't really the material itself, as it is the plastic coating. This is why professional dart blasters use foam darts that aren't covered up with a non-biodegradable plastic layer.

When will you know if the dart is biodegrading?

The most common thing to notice when looking for decomposing Nerf darts would be smaller pieces becoming flatter. If the dart is left in a moist environment, you may see mold start to grow where it has decomposed which would be your indication that it's time to put this piece of trash out of its misery and throw it away.

If you're lucky enough to have a dart decompose completely, what will be leftover is biodegradable foam made from recycled materials (Polyethylene) and non-toxic glue.

Are Nerf darts recyclable?

Unfortunately, not all of them are and only specific blasters are recyclable. If you look carefully at the packaging, you'll notice a recycle sign which indicates that you can recycle that item in most areas but make sure confirm your area first before tossing it out since there are certain regulations affecting what cities accept as being acceptable for recycling.

Are Nerf darts toxic?

Even though this is a frequently asked question, the answer isn't very clear. Nerf darts are non-toxic, but they're made of components that have toxic chemicals in them. The foam is made of polyurethane which contains harmful phthalates.

Plastic coatings are also full of nasty toxic chemicals like BPA and PVC - two chemicals that can really mess up your body. If consumed, the chemicals can cause cancer, reproductive defects, and immune system problems.

Are Nerf darts harmful to pets and children?

Even though they're non-toxic, you don't want your children to eat the dart. So keep them out of reach from all children or pets and if any part has broken off - throw it away immediately because animals will certainly try to play with it when left outside by their owners.

Are Nerf Darts Harmful to The Environment?

In summary, Nerf darts are not harmful to the environment as they will biodegrade in the environment. However, they are harmful to children and pets if consumed so make sure you keep them out of reach from all children or pets - especially if any part has broken off!

-We included additional safety tips for Nerf blasters, you can read it here

Jeremy A
Dart Dudes

About the Author

Jeremy is the founder of Dart Dudes, the leading resource for parents looking to pick up a Nerf toy for a child. He grew up with his four brothers and two sisters where there was always a Nerf war taking place.

With a focus on safety, Jeremy has helped thousands of parents help chose the right Nerf toy for their kids or grandkids. He lives in California with his wife and family. Learn more about me. - You can email me

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