Every minute, about a hundred Barbies are sold across the world, making Barbie one of the most consumed toys of all time. However, with her life in plastic, it’s not so fantastic that Barbie is also responsible for some of the most consumed and discarded plastic of all time.
Thankfully, as one of the exemplary companies in sustainability, Mattel is giving their flagship creation a new look. In September 2021, Mattel made one of the most iconic dolls of the ages sustainable for a greener future.
This is not the only Mattel toy brand to promote sustainability. Take a look at their greatest successes in meeting their sustainability goals.
Barbie Loves The Beach:
Introducing the woman of the hour: Barbie Loves The Beach, Mattel’s latest effort in sustainability. Responding to plastic pollution in the ocean, Mattel creates a new Barbie line. Made from 90% recycled ocean-bound plastic, yet she is still 100% just as fun! Indistinguishable from other Barbie lines, Barbie Loves The Beach is a huge step up for the toy industry.
Including 3 unique dolls and a complete playset, Barbie Loves The Beach is at the same price as other Barbie lines. That means they are both eco-friendly and budget-friendly. With their Barbie Loves The Beach line, Mattel is sending a very clear message to other toy giants: it shouldn’t cost so much to be green.
The Future of Pink is Green:
Also, Mattel is giving Barbie a new color scheme. Instead of its traditional pink, Barbie is going green. That means you can expect her pink convertible to be greener, both in color and material. The Future of Pink is Green campaign aims to promote their Barbie Loves the Ocean line, as well as Mattel’s green goals.
The campaign is a stop-motion video, with children changing Barbie’s various styles over the years. Working with BBH LA, The Future of Pink is Green creatively shows the variety of Barbie and her brand companions, while introducing the Barbie Loves the Ocean line.
Barbie also uploads a new series to her YouTube channel about environmentalism and the ocean. Titled ‘Barbie Shares How We Can All Protect the Planet’, the animated vlog shows young fans how they can help improve sustainability via everyday action.
Because 90% of the world’s toys are still made from plastic, discarded plastic toys overload the ecosystem when they are no longer useful. Moreover, 80% of discarded toys end up in landfills instead of being recycled. Since plastics are non-biodegradable, these toys will be around indefinitely.
Old toys rarely see play. While some end up in garage sales or as hand-me-downs, most end up discarded in the trash. Instead of letting all these plastic toys go to landfills or the environment, Mattel steps in to give these toys a second life. With Mattel Playback’s circular model, your toys now have lasting longevity once your children have finished playing with them.
More specifically, the program aims to recover and recycle used Mattel toys for future Mattel products, which helps the company meet its sustainability goals. Products that are no longer recyclable will either downcycle those materials or convert them from waste to energy.
At the moment, Mattel will only accept Barbie®, Matchbox®, and MEGA® toys for their Playback program, but more brands can be added in the future.
UNO’s Nothin’ But Paper
Mattel gives UNO a sustainable makeover in 2020. With zero cellophane involved in its packaging, UNO’s Nothin’ But Paper paves the way for card games around the world to go green. As cellophane is essentially plastic, this means your favorite pack of UNO cards will no longer contribute to plastic pollution globally.
The Nothin’ But Paper edition also uses soy-based inks and is made with water-based glue, both of which are non-toxic. Without the plastic wrap for all of their UNO products, Mattel is on the right track to meeting its sustainability goal. As the first popular card game to not use plastic in its wrapping, UNO is setting an example for other games to follow.
This makes UNO one of the only card games that are 100% recyclable.
Matchbox’s Drive Toward a Better Future
As one of Mattel’s flagship brands, Matchbox also gears towards plastic-free packaging. Via their Drive Toward a Better Future campaign, which aims to have the die-cast model 100% recyclable. The campaign started last year with the first model: the Telsa Roadster Matchbox.
Coming in a windowless recyclable box, the car is also placed on a tray that is 70% bio-based material from potatoes and is home compostable. Even better, the car itself is also made from 99% recyclable materials, with 1% being the stainless steel in the car axles.
Having introduced many of us to cars, Matchbox should be the one that inspires sustainability in our children. The campaign will introduce more car models soon.
Fisher-Price’s Rock-a-Stack and Baby’s First Blocks
Along with recyclable plastic, Mattel also focuses on bioplastic. In their new direction toward sustainability, Fisher-Price Rock-a-Stack and Baby’s First Blocks are the first cornerstones made in bioplastics.
While not as big as Lego, Fisher-Price and Mega Bloks are also reliable brands for children building blocks. Colorful and fun, these blocks are the perfect introduction to shapes and sizes for children.
Made from bioplastic, sugarcane-based to be exact, these building blocks still feel just as solid. (They hurt just like normal plastic if stepped on.) The brand is fast on its way to having all plastic Fisher-Price building blocks replaced with plastic ones.
With plastic being one of their core materials in toy production, it is almost impossible for Mattel to be sustainable. After all, plastic is cheaper, easy to work with, and safe when done correctly. For industry giants like Mattel, profit should come first, right?
However, Mattel is proving they can do the impossible: They can put their profit quotas behind the greater good. With recyclable packaging and materials, Mattel toys not only bring joy to children but to environmentalists as well.
You can shop for your sustainable toys from Mattel here on Tenere, at Walmart, Amazon, and Target, among other retailers. Better yet, did you know that Tenere has a continuous partnership with many of Mattel’s retailers? Meet your eco-friendly goals even faster when shopping at these stores via Tenere, the tree-planting initiative.