Your favorite Barbie won’t be made of plastic soon – it’ll be made of bamboo.
On Tuesday, famed toy company Mattel announced its commitment to go plastic-free by 2030. Known for producing toy lines like Barbie, Hot Wheels, Fisher-Price and American Girl, the magnate will soon eliminate plastic from its production process.
“We have made more than a billion plastic Barbies, and enough is enough,” said Mattel CEO Ynon Kreiz in a press release. “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.”
Mattel also announced its commitment to plastic-free policy, following its quick turn from the environmentally harmful material. The toy producer vowed to support a federal ban on nonessential plastic use.
“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,” said Mattel’s Head of Sustainability, Pamela Gill-Alabaster. “But the new plan to eliminate plastic altogether actually solves the problem by cutting down on current production.”
To remove plastic from its doll production, Mattel vowed to focus on compostable natural materials like “mushroom mycelium, algae, seaweed, clays, wood cellulose, and bamboo.”
Mattel isn’t the first company to cut plastic from its production process. Last year, Coors Light announced that it would eliminate the plastic rings connecting their beers, transitioning to fully recyclable and sustainably sourced cardboard-wrap carriers.
Molson Coors, who owns brewing operations, vowed to invest $85 million in the change to upgrade packaging machinery. The switchover would allow the company's entire North American portfolio of brands to advance to cardboard wrap carriers by the end of 2025, the brand said.
Recently Greta Gerwig’s Barbie hit theaters, emphasizing the stiff plastic nature of the famed toy. As Margot Robbie, who plays the film’s titular doll, walks around her Dreamhouse, the plastic is utterly emphasized.
Taking on a more socially conscious mission, Mattel has also been debuting a variety of Barbies from underrepresented backgrounds. This includes a Barbie with Down syndrome, which premiered back in April.
Barbie collaborated with the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) to "ensure the doll accurately represents a person with Down syndrome," per a press release from Mattel.
"NDSS empowers individuals with Down syndrome and their families by providing resources, driving policy change [and] engaging with local communities," Mattel added. "NDSS's guidance and real-world experiences informed the design process from start to finish, including the doll's sculpt, clothing, accessories and packaging. The close partnership ensured the Barbie team celebrated individuals with Down syndrome through a doll that would immediately connect with the community."