Mattel’s sustainability goals promote net zero play

Ynon Kreiz, Chairman and CEO at toymakers Mattel inspires a future of sustainability for young people through toy repair and recycling schemes

Mattel’s sustainability goals work to reduce the impact of the company’s products on the planet, whilst introducing young people to child-friendly reduce, reuse and recycling schemes. 

As young humans develop, the things that they interact with have an impact — from people to environments to objects, including toys — and many parents work to ensure that their children are interacting with sustainability from a young age. 

The Toy Association’s Toy and Play Trends 2023 report found that the sustainability of a toy is important to 78% of parents, and toy companies are working to ensure that the product meets the consumer demands. 

Core sustainability goals for Barbie creators

Mattel has committed to three key sustainability goals:

  • Achieve 100% recycled, recyclable, or bio-based plastic materials in products and packaging by 2030. In 2021, it increased the amount of recycled PET (polyethylene terephthalate) in most of the window cartons and blister packs from 25% in 2020 to 30% and expanded the use of the How2Recycle label, a standardised labelling system in the United States and Canada, on our packaging.
  • Maintain 95% recycled or Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified content in the paper and wood fibre used in products and packaging. It achieved 97.9% recycled or FSC-certified content in the paper and wood fibre in 2021, as validated by the Rainforest Alliance, and changed the design of the master cartons from double-wall to single-wall corrugates, which are sourced from more than 90% recycled fibre.
  • Reduce plastic packaging by 25% per product by 2030 versus 2020 baseline. Mattel achieved zero-waste packaging for Mega Bloks Big Building Bag, MEGA’s top-selling product.

Reduce, reuse, recycle revamping playtime

The company has also started the Mattel Playback scheme, aiming to keep the toys and materials in circulation longer through recycling. The program currently accepts Barbie, Fisher-Price, Matchbox and MEGA toys for recycling, and is available in the US, Canada, France, Germany and the UK.

The American Girl Hospital is a direct repair service offered on dolls, including removing stains, reattaching limbs, and replacing eyes — all working to reduce waste in broken toys, and educate the children playing with the dolls on the benefits of repair over repurchase. In 2020, the American Girl Doll Hospital repaired more than 28,000 dolls, nearly a quarter of which were 10 years old or older.

“Our goal as a corporate citizen is to contribute to a more diverse, equitable, inclusive, and sustainable future,” says Ynon Kreiz, Chairman and CEO at Mattel. 

“Creating products and experiences that are better for our world is central to our sustainability journey at Mattel, Inc.”

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