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Sustainability: Mattel Sets Aggressive Goal To Reduce Plastic in Packaging

Toy giant Mattel has raised the bar on its plans for sustainable packaging, pledging to reduce plastics by 25% by 2030.

Mattel also says any plastic that still being used by 2030 will be 100% recycled, recyclable, or will be less harmful bio-based plastics.

“We are proud of the progress we have made in the past year toward our ESG goals and recognize that there is much more to be accomplished. Our new plastic packaging goal responds to increasing global attention on single-use plastic packaging waste, and addresses changing consumer preferences,” said Pamela Gill-Alabaster, SVP, Global Head of Sustainability and Social Impact, Mattel. “Our teams strive to continue to innovate with principles of circular design and product stewardship to develop products and packaging that are better for our planet.”

More fun, less guilt: Mattel pledges to cut use of plastics by 25% in packaging by 2030.

The new sustainability goals are featured in the company’s 2021 Citizenship Report published this week, which provides a progress update on Mattel’s Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) strategy and established goals.

Mattel’s ESG strategy and goals are organized into three pillars: Sustainable Design and Development; Responsible Sourcing and Production; and Thriving and Inclusive Communities, representing the ESG areas where the company believes it can have the greatest impact.

“At Mattel, our aim is to contribute to a more diverse, equitable, inclusive, and sustainable future,” said Ynon Kreiz, Chairman and CEO, Mattel. “The progress across our ESG strategy and goals, and our new goal announced today, reflects our ongoing commitment to corporate citizenship and our purpose to empower the next generation to explore the wonder of childhood and reach their full potential. I would like to thank all the teams across Mattel and our external stakeholders for their partnership on this important journey.”

With its new packaging goal, Mattel is focused on reducing plastic materials from product packaging, including polybags, window sheets, and blister packs as part of its packaging strategy and reduction approach.

Mattel also provided a major update on how it’s doing in meeting its goals in all three of its ESG pillars. The entire list of updates are as follows, organized by each category or pillar:

Sustainable Design and Development

Mattel aims to develop innovative products and experiences that are better for the world by integrating sustainable materials with principles of product stewardship and circular design. In this pillar the company has:

  1. Exceeded its goal to maintain 95% recycled or Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified content in the paper and wood fiber used in its products and packaging, reaching 97.9% in 2021 as validated by the Rainforest Alliance.
  2. Recognized by the FSC with a 2021 Leadership Award for excellence in the use of FSC-certified products and commitment to responsible forest management.
  3. Increased the amount of recycled PET (polyethylene terephthalate) in most window cartons and blister packs from 25% in 2020 to 30% in 2021.
  4. Launched Mattel PlayBack, a toy takeback program in the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, and the UK, designed to recover and reuse valuable materials from old Mattel toys.
  5. Progressed its goal to achieve 100% recycled, recyclable, or bio-based plastic materials in products and packaging by 2030 with several new products made from more sustainable materials and other initiatives including:
  • Barbie Loves the Ocean, its first fashion doll line made from recycled ocean-bound plastic.
  • Matchbox Tesla Roadster, its first die-cast vehicle made from 99% recycled materials and certified as a CarbonNeutral® product.
  • UNO Nothin’ But Paper! eliminated the cellophane wrapping from all UNO card games, replacing it with FSC-certified paper.
  • Mega Bloks Green Town, a new line of certified CarbonNeutral®products3 in which the blocks and pieces are made from a mix of plant-based materials (plastic made from ethanol extracted from sugar cane) and ISCC-certified bio-circular plastics (using a mass balance approach).

Responsible Sourcing and Production

Mattel aims to optimize resource use in operations to reduce environmental effects and promote ethical sourcing practices and worker health and safety throughout the supply chain. In this pillar the company has:

  1. Accelerated progress toward Mattel’s goal to reduce Scope 1 and 2 Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions by 50% by 20304 reporting an 8% reduction in absolute Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions versus the 2019 baseline year. The Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions data disclosed in the 2021 Citizenship Report has been verified by an independent third-party verification body, SCS Global Services.
  2. Advanced toward its goal to achieve zero manufacturing waste by 2030. The company conducted two on-site waste characterization audits at its manufacturing facility in Monterrey, Mexico, and its distribution center in San Bernardino, California, which informed the creation of a new Mattel Waste Management Standard.
  3. Achieved a 79% waste diversion rate in 2021.
  4. Established the Mattel Responsible Sourcing Working Group, a cross-functional team of internal experts to support Responsible Sourcing and Production, and to promote ethical sourcing practices and worker health and safety throughout Mattel’s supply chain, in 2021.

Thriving and Inclusive Communities

Mattel aims to make a positive social impact through purposeful play and by supporting diverse, equitable, and inclusive communities where we live, work, and play. In this pillar the company has:

  1. Progressed toward its global Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion goals of increasing representation of women and ethnically diverse talent, and achieved 100% base pay equity by gender globally and by ethnicity in the U.S.7
  2. Received the following notable recognitions for its workplace culture: Forbes World’s Best Employers of 2021; Forbes Best Employers for Women 2021; Fast Company Best Workplaces for Innovators 2021; Great Place to Work® Certified 2021; Newsweek Top 100 Most Loved Workplaces for 2021; Human Rights Campaign Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality 2021; and 2021 Time Most Influential Companies.

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