A new toy takeback programme launched 10 May by toy company Mattel Inc. is aimed at recovering and reusing materials from old Mattel toys for future Mattel products. The programme is just one of the initiatives taken by the company within the scope of its ambition to to achieve 100% recycled, recyclable or bio-based plastic materials across all products and packaging by 2030.
The toys produced by the company are made to last and be passed on from generation to generation, according to Richard Dickson, President and Chief Operating Officer, Mattel.
“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. Our Mattel PlayBack program is a great example of this, enabling us to turn materials from toys that have lived their useful life into recycled materials for new products.”
The PlayBack programme will initially be available in the United States and Canada and will later be expanded to France, Germany and the United Kingdom through third-party recycling partners.
The procedure is a simple one: consumers can take part by visiting Mattel.com/PlayBack, printing a free shipping label, and packing and mailing their outgrown Mattel toys back to Mattel.
There, the toys will be sorted and separated by material type and responsibly processed and recycled. Products that are not able to be recycled into new toys will be downcycled by the company or converted them from waste to energy.
Initially, the programme will accept Barbie, Matchbox and MEGA toys for recycling. Other brands will be added in the future.
“The Mattel PlayBack program helps parents and caregivers ensure that materials stay in play, and out of landfills, with the aim to repurpose these materials as recycled content in new toys. It is one important step we’re taking to address the growing global waste challenge,” noted Pamela Gill-Alabaster, Global Head of Sustainability, Mattel.
Next to the new PlayBack programme, Mattel has also taken other measures to achieve its sustainable materials goal. For example, the company previously introduced 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, the first fully recyclable UNO deck without cellophane packing materials.
In addition, the company’s Drive Toward a Better Future initiative - a product roadmap to make all Matchbox die-cast cars, playsets and packaging with 100% recycled, recyclable or bio-based plastic materials by 2030 - was launched just last month. At the same time, Mattel unveiled the first Matchbox Tesla Roadster, its first die-cast vehicle made from 99% recycled materials - 62.1 percent recycled zinc, 36.9 percent recycled plastic and 1 percent not-recycled stainless steel -as well as being certified CarbonNeutral. The Roardstar will be available starting in 2022. Furthermore, in the future, Matchbox will be placing a greater focus on electric vehicle designs.