Mattel: bringing sustainability to play-time

By William Girling
One of the major shifts in manufacturing has been the goal to replace fossil fuel-based plastics. Therefore, Mattel has decided to revolutionise toys...

One of the major shifts in manufacturing has been the goal to replace fossil fuel-based plastics. Therefore, Mattel has decided to revolutionise toys.

The American toymaker announced that its Mega Bloks® brand would be released a new line of products made entirely from bio-plastic. A staple for pre-school age children, the construction products will also have Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified packaging, meaning it is 100% recyclable.  

This release is the latest in Mattel’s ongoing commitment to stock fully recyclable or bio-plastic based products/packaging by the year 2030. 

Making the case that investment in bio-plastics represents the best quality available to consumers, Richard Dickson, President and COO, said that the company’s eco-friendly stance was deeply sincere.

“Environmental sustainability is a corporate priority and we are proud to announce Mega’s first product made from bio-based materials,” he said. “Our Mega team is deeply committed to bringing the best products to their loyal consumers and they are driving innovation to do this in the most sustainable way.”

Creating a more sustainable world

The second-largest toymaker in the world after The Lego Group, Mattel’s decision to integrate bio-plastic into its manufacturing could influence the broader industry too. 

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In an industry valued at US$22bn, the quantity of non-recyclable toys currently on the market leaves a lot of room for improvement from other companies, large and small. 

The aforementioned Lego Group released a new range of leaves, bushes and trees in 2018 that were made of plastic sourced from sugarcane. The industry giant’s ultimate goal, like Mattel, is to use 100% sustainable materials in its products by 2030.

"This is a great first step in our ambitious commitment of making all Lego bricks using sustainable materials,” Tim Brooks, VP of Environmental Responsibility, told the BBC.

With consumer expectations shifting to sustainability as a way of life, not just a novelty, manufacturers are starting to take notice and incorporate the philosophy into every aspect of their operations.

“Creating a more sustainable world is important to our team, our company and our consumers, and our first construction line derived from bio-based plastics is an example of this,” said Bisma Ansari, Snr VP of Mattel’s MEGA brand.

“Our Mega Bloks are the defining product for MEGA, so this next step in innovation allows us to create the high-quality products we know families love from more sustainable materials.”

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