The Washington Post

Mattel agrees to implement greener paper-sourcing practices after Greenpeace stages campaign

Greenpeace activists dressed as Ken dolls rappel down Mattel headquarters in Los Angeles on June 7, 2011. (GREENPEACE)

The company will now maximize use of “post-consumer recycled paper,” avoid obtaining virgin fiber from “controversial sources,” and use fiber from certified third parties when possible, according to a press release. Mattel said it plans to make 70 percent of its packaging out of recycled or sustainable materials by the end of this year.

“In developing these sourcing principles and setting goals, we applied a thoughtful and rigorous approach in evaluating our supply chain and identifying meaningful opportunities for continuous improvement,” Lisa Marie Bongiovanni, vice president of corporate affairs at Mattel, said in the release.

In June, Greenpeace launched a public breakup between Ken and Barbie. The group alleged that Mattel was contributing to destroying rainforests in Indonesia by using products from Asia Pulp & Paper (APP). As a result of this, the group said Ken was forced to call it quits with his plastic lady love.

The group hung a banner over Mattel’s headquarters displaying a picture of a frowning Ken with the message, “Barbie, It’s over. I don’t date girls that are into deforestation.”

APP released a statement praising “Mattel’s commitments to recycling, wood legality, protection of High Conservation Value Forest, respect for the rights of indigenous peoples and robust auditing and certification procedures.

“In fact, APP supports all credible industry certification; however, we strongly urge companies to not limit their procurement policies to one standard, in this case FSC, which discriminates against products from Indonesia and other developing markets.”

Bustar Maitar, who heads Greenpeace’s campaign to save forests in Indonesia, called Mattel’s sustainable practices “good news” in a statement.

“While Greenpeace will watch Mattel closely to ensure it implements its commitments, we will encourage other companies, including Disney and Hasbro, to take similar action to protect rainforests,” he said.

This post has been updated with a statement from Asia Pulp & Paper.


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