Updated Aug. 23
Sorry! But plastic packaging is becoming Taboo for the entire Operation at toy and game maker Hasbro Inc. And this is no Trivial Pursuit.
Hasbro, of Pawtucket, R.I., is phasing out plastic from packaging, a move that's expected to take less than three years. Changes start next year and plastic packaging will be virtually gone by the end of 2022, the company said.
Hasbro's stable of products includes Nerf, Transformers, Monopoly and My Little Pony.
The end of plastic will include packaging such as polybags, shrink wrap, blister packs and windows. Elastic bands are also on their way out, the company said.
"Our approach will be different for each product, as our packaging team will evaluate to see what makes the most sense in terms of design and feasibility. In some cases, we may not replace the plastic and leave it as an open package. In other cases, we may use paper instead of plastic," said Kathrin Belliveau, a senior vice president at Hasbro, in an email interview.
Hasbro did not have an estimate regarding how much plastic will no longer be used.
"Our product mix is always changing, as is our plastic usage, so it is hard to give a number estimate at this time. However, we are confident that this will have a meaningful impact and are excited for this new phase in our company," Belliveau said.
While the company is taking aim at plastic packaging, Hasbro will be hard-pressed to eliminate the material that's used in the production of the toys and games themselves.
Hasbro previously added the How2Recycle labeling in 2016 and has teamed up with TerraCycle to provide a toy recycling program. That effort allows consumers to send their used toys to TerraCycle, which sees that they are recycled into new products such as benches, flower pots and play spaces.
"Reimagining and redesigning packaging across our brand portfolio is a complex undertaking, but we believe it's important and our teams are up for the challenge," Chief Operating Officer John Frascotti said in a statement.
"We know consumers share our commitment to protecting the environment, and we want families to feel good knowing that our packaging will be virtually plastic-free, and our products can be easily recycled," he said.
Belliveau said there are many considerations when migrating away from plastic packaging.
"Some of our key challenges are protecting the product, preventing theft, ensuring product integrity during transit, and ensuring our packaging is still appealing to consumers. Our in-house packaging team is continually innovating, testing and validating new materials, exploring new solutions and developing best practices to improve the sustainability of our products and packaging," Belliveau said.