Toy Recycling

Mattel Inc. launches Toy Takeback Program to advance Circular Economy

Mattel Inc. announced the launch of Mattel PlayBack, a toy takeback program. At launch, the program will accept specific toys, such as Barbie and Matchbox, for recycling with other brands to be added in the future.

Mattel’s toy takeback program is designed to recover and reuse materials from old Mattel toys for future Mattel products, and supports the company’s goal to achieve 100% recycled, recyclable or bio-based plastic materials across all products and packaging 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.

Consumers participate in the Mattel PlayBack program by shipping back outgrown Mattel toys to Mattel with designated free shipping labels. The toys collected will be sorted and separated by material type and responsibly processed and recycled. For materials that cannot be repurposed as recycled content in new toys, Mattel PlayBack mentions it will either downcycle those materials or convert them from waste-to-energy. At launch, the program will accept specific toys, such as Barbie and Matchbox, for recycling with other brands to be added in the future. 

Mattel’s PlayBack is part of an integral part of their broader sustainability strategy. Mattel explains that another part of the sustainability program is a commitment to advance the circular economy, involving, amongst others, circular design training for its design, development, global brand and supply chain teams. Other components of the sustainability strategy are last year’s introduction of several toys with the goal to achieve 100% recycled, recyclable or bio-based plastic materials across all products and packaging by 2030, as well as last month’s announcement of Drive Toward a Better Future, Mattel’s  product roadmap to make all Matchbox die-cast cars, playsets and packaging with 100% recycled, recyclable or bio-based plastic materials by 2030.

“At Mattel, we are committed to managing the environmental impact of our products,” added Pamela Gill-Alabaster, Global Head of Sustainability, Mattel. “The Mattel PlayBack program helps 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.”