Mattel launches toy takeback program in support of sustainability efforts
Image courtesy of Mattel

Mattel launches toy takeback program in support of sustainability efforts

Mattel PlayBack is a toy takeback program designed to recover and reuse materials from old Mattel toys for future Mattel products.

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Mattel Inc., El Segundo, California, announced the launch of a program known as Mattel PlayBack on May 10. Mattel PlayBack is a toy takeback program designed to recover and reuse materials from old Mattel toys for future Mattel products. According to Mattel, the program supports the company’s goal to achieve 100 percent recycled, recyclable or bio-based plastic materials across all products and packaging by 2030.

“Mattel toys are made to last and be passed on from generation to generation,” Richard Dickson, president and COO of Mattel, says. “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.”   

To participate in the Mattel PlayBack program, consumers can go to the Mattel website, print a free shipping label, and pack and mail their outgrown Mattel toys back to the company. The toys collected will be sorted and separated by material type and subsequently processed and recycled. For materials that cannot be repurposed as recycled content in new toys, Mattel PlayBack will either downcycle those materials or convert them from waste to energy. At launch, the program will accept Barbie, Matchbox and MEGA brand toys for recycling, with other brands to be added in the future. 

“At Mattel, we are committed to managing the environmental impact of our products,” Pamela Gill-Alabaster, global head of sustainability at Mattel, says. “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.”  

Last year, Mattel introduced several toys as part of its goal to achieve 100 percent recycled, recyclable or bio-based plastic materials across all products and packaging by 2030.

Last month, Mattel also announced Drive Toward a Better Future, its product roadmap to make all Matchbox die-cast cars, playsets and packaging with 100 percent recycled, recyclable or bio-based plastic materials by 2030.

Mattel PlayBack will initially be available in the United States and Canada. The program will extend to France, Germany and the United Kingdom through third-party recycling partners.