Products of Change


Fri 26 Nov 2021 | by Rob Hutchins

Hasbro 'deeply committed' to plant-based and recycled materials with new plans for Potato Head

The global toy company, Hasbro has detailed new plans to take its sustainability efforts to the next level, revealing that its Potato Head brand will be made with 100 per cent plant-based or renewable materials by the end of 2024. The plans, revealed by Hasbro during COP26 at the start of this month, builds on the toy maker’s commitment to use more sustainable materials across its product portfolio and reduce its reliance on virgin plastic. Potato Head currently uses plastic-free packaging, and the company is on track to transition al new products in the portfolio to plastic-free packaging by the end of 2022. This move will reduce the company’s use of virgin plastic by an estimated 19.5 million pounds annually. “At Hasbro, purpose is at the center of our Brand Blueprint, guiding us as we work to make the world a better place for children, fans, and families and use our business as a force for good,” said Kathrin Belliveau, EVP and chief purpose officer at Hasbro. “One way we do that is by developing more environmentally sustainable products, including this important step for the beloved Potato Head brand. “Our product engineers and designers are the best in the business, and they have been hard at work on plastic innovations for many years, which remains a top priority for us. We’re deeply committed to transitioning to primarily plant-based, renewable or recycled materials in our products, eliminating plastic from packaging, and ensuring we continue to contribute to a lower carbon, more sustainable economy.” A classic, childhood toy for almost 70 years, Potato Head is, today, sold in more than 25 countries and holds recognition as the first toy to feature in a TV advertisement back in 1952. In 2016, the toy was redesigned using 20 per cent less paperboard in its packaging than previous designs, and in 2020, Hasbro released the Mr Potato Head Goes Green, the first Hasbro product to be made with plant-based plastic and plastic-free packaging. “Our goal to make the iconic Potato Head toy line from plant-based or renewable materials by the end of 2024 is an important step forward in our journey to ensure our beloved toys and games continue to bring joy to future generations in a more sustainable manner, without sacrificing the quality consumers expect from Hasbro,” said Eric Nyman chief operating officer, Hasbro Consumer Products and Chief Consumer Officer. “This move for Potato Head will be followed by others in our portfolio as we carry out our commitment to provide children, fans, and consumers around the world with engaging and sustainable ways to play.” Hasbro estimates it will eliminate around 155 million pounds of virgin materials from its supply chain, as part of its commitment to transition all other existing toys and games to recycled or renewable materials by 2033. In addition to designing products for sustainability, Hasbro offers end-of-life solutions through its Hasbro Toy Recycling Programme – the first national recycling programme for toys in the US. The scheme offers free-of-charge solutions for consumers looking to give their old toys and games a new life. The scheme converts their toys into new uses such as playground surfaces, flowerpots, and park benches. Having launched in the US in 2018, the programme has expanded into Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, and the UK and will move into Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, Sweden, and Switzerland by the end of 2022. On top of the developments being implemented at a manufacturing level, Hasbro is continuing to promote climate education among the youth through its support of World Largest Lesson – a partnership with UNICEF that promotes the use of the UN Sustainable Development Goals in learning – and its Climate Changemakers campaign this past year.

Hasbro has worked with World's Largest Lesson over the course of the year to deliver its message to COP26
The campaign asked children from around the world to share a 100-word message about why climate education is important to them. WLL received over 10,500 messages from children and educators in 100 countries. It was at COP26 earlier this month, and at Pre-COP, the final official ministerial meeting ahead of COP26, that World’s Largest Lesson brought these children’s voices forward. The messages were shared at Pre-COP directly with Ministers of Education, while at COP26, the messages were featured at the heart of the climate conference and negotiations. In fact, they would have been hard to miss, being plastered across a 15 metre billboard in the conference’s Blue Zone, where world leaders, delegations and youth leaders gathered to discuss how to tackle the climate and bio-diversity crisis. “Hasbro is proud to support World’s Largest Lesson and empower young people to make a difference in support of the Global Goals, particularly Goal 13: Climate Action,” said the firm.