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.
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.
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.
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.