Mattel’s new PlayBack recycling program will give your old toys a second life
Parents looking to do a little spring cleaning can now recycle some of their children’s old toys instead of throwing them away.
Mattel, founded in 1945 and headquartered in El Segundo, announced on Monday, May 10, the launch of Mattel Playback, a program through which the company will recycle toys from the Barbie, Matchbox and MEGA toy lines. The toymakers plan to add brands to the list in the future.
All people have to do is print a free shipping label off of Mattel’s website, then pack and mail the toys their children no longer play with or want. Mattel will then salvage useful pieces from toys to recycle. If the toys cannot be recycled, then the company will downcycle them instead and turn the toys into other plastic products. If Mattel cannot do either of those, then the company will turn the old toys into energy – basically incinerate the toys that would otherwise go to a landfill.
“The Mattel PlayBack program helps parents and caregivers ensure that valuable materials stay in play, and out of landfills, with the aim to repurpose these materials as recycled content in new toys,” said Pamela Gill-Alabaster, Mattel’s global head of sustainability. “It is one important step we’re taking to address the growing global waste challenge.”
Mattel has taken other steps in recent years to combat the waste problem of toys. The company introduced several toys last year in their pursuit toward 100% recycled materials across all of their toy lines by 2030. These included several different products made entirely of bio-based plastic materials – materials made partially or entirely with renewable, biological materials.
Next year, Mattel will allow consumers to purchase a Matchbox car that is made of 99% recyclable materials. It’s ultimate goal is to make all of its Matchbox products 100% recyclable by 2030, similar to its overarching sustainability goal.
The Mattel Playback program will initially be available in the United States and Canada. Mattel plans to roll out similar programs in France, Germany and United Kingdom, with the help of a third-party partner.
Richard Dickinson, president and chief operating officer at Mattel, said toys made by the company are meant to be played with by more than one child.
“Mattel toys are made to last and be passed on from generation to generation,” said Richard Dickson, President and Chief Operating Officer, Mattel. “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.”