“Enough Is Enough”: Mattel Is Ceasing Production on Their Iconic Plastic Barbies

Barbie dolls
Credit: Mattel and Canva

With the release of the hit new film Barbie, it’s evident that ‘Barbie fever’ is sweeping the world… and the toy aisle. These iconic plastic dolls have become pop-culture landmarks and have been making children happy since 1959. Right now, the brand is seeing a massive resurgence as the public heads to the stores to buy dolls after seeing the movie, which stars Margot Robbie. However, it’s not all glitter and rainbows; Barbie’s success has taken its toll over the years.

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Margot Robbie as Barbie

Credit: Warner Bros.

The Price of Barbie’s Plastic

These mass-produced dolls have unfortunately been filling up landfills for decades. As explained by the new site Inside the Magic, the federal ban on nonessential plastics has further exposed that this kind of waste is no longer being tolerated. The public is sick of seeing plastic waste, and Mattel Inc. has heard this loud and clear.

Plastic has long been a staple material in the toy industry due to its durability and versatility. However, the negative environmental impact of plastic has become a growing concern globally. With the increase in plastic waste polluting our oceans and landfills, it has become imperative for companies like Mattel to find alternative solutions.

It has just been announced by Mattel’s corporate offices that the company plans to stop production of their plastic Barbies by 2030 completely. In their place, Mattel will begin making dolls using only comfortable materials.

Barbie dolls

Credit: Mattel

The statement from Ynon Kreiz, CEO of Mattel, reads:

“We have made more than a billion plastic Barbies, and enough is enough. With our plastic-free commitment, we denounce the empty promises of plastic recycling and take a bold step towards real ecological sustainability. Only sustainably produced toys can provide sustainable joy.”

Pamela Gill-Alabaster, Mattel’s Head of Sustainability, adds;

“As a responsible company, we realized that Mattel’s previous commitment to the use of 100% recycled plastic by 2030 would only serve to delay the release of plastic into the environment. But the new plan to eliminate plastic altogether actually solves the problem by cutting down on current production, as well as focusing on only compostable natural materials like mushroom mycelium, algae, seaweed, clays, wood cellulose, and bamboo. It will revolutionize the industry and set new standards for conscientious play.”

The Pressure Is on, Disney!

This historic news has made some fans question if Disney will follow suit. In the past, Disney has been criticized for their use of single-use plastics in Disney Parks and in their toys and merchandise. This play by Mattel could very well create a new standard that Disney will be pressured to follow.

Disney American Girl dolls

Credit: Disney and American Girl Doll

While using recycled plastic is a great step, Mattel’s commitment to creating an entirely natural and compostable alternative is extremely commendable. Hopefully, Disney and other toy manufacturers will follow by example and help protect this environment.

About Eva Miller

Eva was born and raised in the beautiful state of Oregon but has since relocated and lives in New York City. Since she was young, Eva has loved to perform in musicals, especially Disney ones! Through performing, Disney’s music became the soundtrack of her childhood. Today, Eva loves to write about all the exciting happenings for the Walt Disney Company. In her free time, Eva loves to travel, spend time in nature, and go to Broadway shows. Her favorite Disney movie is 'Lilo and Stitch,' and her favorite Park is Disney's Animal Kingdom.