Toymaker Mattel has launched a new toy takeback program called Mattel’s Playback, where it will recycle old Barbie, Matchbox cars and MEGA Bloks and turn them into new usable toys.
CEO of toy industry research firm Toys, Tots, Pets & More, Jim Siver, says Mattel's move is a great idea:
"...as the consumer is becoming more and more concerned about the future and becoming more eco-friendly, manufacturers are starting to step up and start to try and make the environment better. So, I think it's something that consumers are going to really like, and it's very good for their (Mattel's) image."
The company is encouraging consumers to ship their old toys back to Mattel, where they are sorted and separated by material type, processed, and recycled.
Materials that cannot be recycled will be either "downcycled" or "converted to energy."
Silver says more and more companies have started down this path:
“You see board games being manufactured differently, that you can reuse the cardboard, or they use a recycled cardboard for it. You see, like with the plastic and they start recycling. I think Mattel, being one of the large companies and leaders in the industry, to start this recycling program, I think you can see others follow suit."
To participate in the program, consumers can visit Mattel’s website, print a free shipping label, and pack and mail their outgrown Mattel toys back to the company.
Mattel said the goal is to recover and reuse materials across all products and packaging by 2030.