Mattel makes good on sustainable packaging pledge

The creator of Barbie and other wildly popular toys sets goal to use 85 percent recycled or certified fiber by the end of 2015; Greenpeace turns gaze on encourage Disney and Hasbro to follow suit.
Written by Heather Clancy, Contributor

Making good on its pledge at the beginning of summer 2011, Mattel has set specific goals for sourcing sustainably harvested paper and wood fiber. By the end of this year, the huge toymaker said that 70 percent of its packaging will come from recycled or sustainable sources.

"We are committed to advancing the use of sustainably sourced paper and wood fiber across our business, beginning with packaging," said Mattel Corporate Affairs Vice President Lisa Marie Bongiovanni in a statement about the company's new policy.

After public pressure from Greenpeace, Mattel earlier this year asked its supply chain partners to ditch relationships that were tied to controversial sources. The company had come under fire for using virgin fiber that was allegedly sourced from rainforests.

The new Mattel policy shows preference for the fiber certified by the Forest Stewardship Council; although the company said that may not alway be feasible. By the end of 2015, the toymaker expects to use recycled or certified fiber for approximately 85 percent of its packaging.

Greenpeace greeted the Mattel commitment, while saying it will keep an eye on the actual progress of the initiative. The organization will also pressure other big-name companies including Disney and Hasbro to follow suit. "The rainforest of Indonesia should be for species like the Sumatran tiger, not for throw-away toy packaging," said Bustar Maitar, head of the Greenpeace campaign that targeted Mattel. "That's why it is such good news that Mattel has developed a new paper buying policy."

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