Toy manufacturer Mattel Inc. (NASDAQ:MAT) has unveiled a new sustainability program designed to recycle toys that have outlived their appreciation.
What Happened: The Mattel PlayBack program is designed to recover and reuse materials from old Mattel toys for future products. To participate, consumers print a free shipping label from the Mattel.com/PlayBack website, pack and mail their old Mattel toys back to the company.
The items will be sorted and separated based on material type and processed for recycling. For materials that cannot be repurposed as recycled content in new toys will either be downcycled or converted from waste into energy.
The program will initially accept Mattel toys from the Barbie, Matchbox and MEGA product lines, with additional brands to be added later. Consumers in the U.S. and Canada will be the initial participants, and the program will be extended to the U.K., France and Germany through third-party recycling firms.
Why It Happened: Mattel has put forth a corporate goal to achieve 100% recycled, recyclable or bio-based plastic materials across all products and packaging by 2030.
“Mattel toys are made to last and be passed on from generation to generation,” said Richard Dickson, president and COO. “A key part of our product design process is a relentless focus on innovation, and finding sustainable solutions is one significant way we are innovating.”
Last year, Mattel introduced several toys made from 100% recycled, recyclable or bio-based plastic materials including the Fisher-Price Rock-a-Stack and Fisher-Price Baby’s First Blocks made from bio-based plastics, three MEGA Bloks sets made from bio-based plastics, and UNO Nothin’ But Paper, which was made without cellophane packing materials.
Next year, the company is taking inspiration from Elon Musk’s Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) with the release of the Matchbox Tesla Roadster, its first die-cast vehicle made from 99% recycled materials and certified CarbonNeutral.
(Photo of Barbie Dolls by Eirein / Flickr Creative Commons.)