German toymaker Playmobil is switching to bio-attributed plastics for its entire Playmobil 1.2.3 portfolio, a range of toys for toddlers.
The company previously used fossil-based acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) plastic. It converted its production process in January and will launch the new plant-based portfolio this month under the new name Playmobil Junior.
The new playsets are made with raw materials that are at least 90 percent plant-based, as attributed by a ISCC certified mass balance approach. The chemically recycled plastics use materials left over from food or paper production as feedstock, according to a Playmobil statement. The company is also using at least 90 percent recycled cardboard and 100 percent recycled paper for the packaging.
It is the first time a major toy manufacturer has offered a complete product segment using at least 90 percent bio-attributed plastics, according to Playmobil. The announcement comes after Playmobil’s competitor Lego ditched plans to make bricks from recycled PET, saying that changes to its manufacturing equipment would have led to higher overall carbon footprint over the product’s lifetime.
Playmobil’s switch was motivated by consumer preference for sustainable and quality materials. It commissioned a representative survey of more than 3,000 parents of children between the ages of one and four before making the switch. The survey looked at play behavior, the role of parents and their expectations of toys for young children in Germany, France, and China.
“The results show that parents around the world attach great importance to the sustainability and quality of the toys their children play with,” Playmobil said in a statement. Almost 80 percnet of toddlers’ parents in Germany and China said that sustainable materials are a reason for choosing a toy.
In addition, between 74 percent and 83 percent of parents said a product’s durability is the most important buying criterion. Toymakers like Lego have pointed to the purported diminished durability of recycled plastics as a reason not to make the switch from fossil-based products. That consideration seems to not have swayed Playmobil on this occasion.
In August 2022, Playmobil launched a toy line called Wiltopia made with 80 percent mechanically recycled plastics.
Playmobil is owned by Horst Brandstatter Group.