Toymaker Mattel Inc. has launched a toy takeback program aimed at recovering and reusing materials from old Mattel toys for future toys.
The program, launched May 10, is just one of the initiatives taken by the company within the scope of its ambition to achieve 100 percent recycled, recyclable or bio-based plastic materials across all products and packaging by 2030.
The toys produced by the company, based in El Segundo, Calif., are made to last and be passed on from generation to generation, President and Chief Operating Officer Richard Dickson said.
"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," he said in a news release.
The PlayBack program 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, then packing up and mailing their outgrown Mattel toys back to Mattel.
There, the toys will be sorted and separated by material type and will be responsibly processed and recycled. Products that are not able to be recycled into new toys will be downcycled by the company or converted from waste to energy.
Initially, the program 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," said Pamela Gill-Alabaster, global head of sustainability for Mattel.
In addition to PlayBack, Mattel said it 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 road map to make all Matchbox die-cast cars, playsets and packaging with 100 percent recycled, recyclable or bio-based plastic materials by 2030, launched in April.
At the same time, Mattel unveiled the first Matchbox Tesla Roadster, its first die-cast vehicle made from 99 percent recycled materials, including nearly 37 percent recycled plastics. The Rordster will be available starting in 2022. Furthermore, in the future, Matchbox will be placing a greater focus on electric vehicle designs.