Mattel has long ranked as one of the world’s premier toy companies, having launched Barbie, Matchbox, American Girl, and others. After many decades in business, the corporation recently set new energy toward more ecological manufacturing practices. Last year, Mattel promised it would shift to producing toys made entirely from recyclable materials by 2030. Its latest effort, announced this week: Mattel PlayBack, which invites customers to return old playthings to the company for recycling.
The program, which appears to have kicked off operation already, at this point only welcomes items under certain Mattel-brand toy umbrellas. Namely: Barbie, Matchbox, and MEGA. In order to participate, customers can print a label from the program’s website and mail any of said toys back to Mattel. As of yet, the program will operate in the United States and Canada, eventually reaching additional nations in Europe through third-party partners.
From Mattel’s President and Chief Operating Officer Richard Dickson:
“Mattel toys are made to last and be passed on from generation to generation. 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.”
And from Mattel’s Global Head of Sustainability Pamela Gill-Alabaster:
“At Mattel, we are committed to managing the environmental impact of our products. 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.”
Though it’s often sad to say goodbye to an old toy, it’s infinitely better to have it recycled than tossed.