Products of Change


Mon 04 Apr 2022 | by Rob Hutchins

Mattel introduces first carbon neutral toy line, MEGA BLOKS Green Town

The global toy maker, Mattel has expanded it sustainable product offering with the debut of the first toy line available at mass retail to be certified carbon neutral. Called MEGA BLOKS Green Town, each play-set within the range is made from a minimum of 56 per cent plant-based materials and a minimum of 26 per cent International Sustainability and Carbon Certification certified bio-circular plastics. Part of the firm’s popular preschool construction brand MEGA BLOKS, each product – such as the Build and Learn Eco House and the Grow and Protect Farm – has been certified carbon neutral by Natural Capital Partners, an expert on carbon neutrality and climate finance. To achieve its carbon neutral certification, MEGA purchased carbon offsets (less than 500 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents) from the Darkwood Forests Conservation project in Canada. Meanwhile, packaging across the range is created with 100 per cent Forest Stewardship Council certified paper or paperboard, as well as soy-based inks and water-based varnishes to enhance recyclability. Each set is designed to help teach green behaviours through play patterns, like waste sorting, using electric transport, protecting honey bees, and choosing renewable energy sources. The Green Town building sets are available for pre-order on Amazon and have achieved the online giant’s Climate Pledge Friendly label. This is, however, just part of the toy maker’s latest endeavour to bring better sustainable measures to the toy space, landing alongside the launch of new Matchbox lines that too  boast new sustainable credentials. Last year, Matchbox detailed its Driving Toward a Better Future initiative, a product roadmap to make all Matchbox die-cast cars, play-sets, and packaging with 100 per cent recycled, recyclable, or bio-based plastic materials by 2030. The plan was launched in line with Mattel’s mission to achieve 100 per cent recycled, recyclable, or bio-based plastic materials in all its products and packaging by the same year.

The Matchbox Recycling Truck uses recycled materials and promotes green practices in the real world
Illustrating these principles, Mattel is now releasing the Matchbox Tesla Roadster, its first die-cast vehicle made from 99 per cent recycled materials and certified carbon neutral. The Tesla model is now available as a pre-sale item on Mattel Creations. Meanwhilke, the Matchbox brand is continuing to promote greener play patterns with the launch of new electric vehicle die-cast multi-packs featuring an expanded assortment of EVs from brands like BMW, Nissan, Honda, and more. The brand is also launching a new Recycling Truck made from 80 per cent ISCC-certified bio-circular plastic, Popular Action Drivers playsets using at least 40 per cent ISCC certified bio-circular plastic, and a host of other products designed for better recyclability such as the incorporation of easy-to-remove and recycle e-waste electronics in all Action Drivers playsets. “At Mattel, we are focused on developing innovative products and packaging that are better for our planet by integrating more sustainable materials and principles of product stewardship and circular design,” said Pamela Gill-Alabaster, head of global sustainability at Mattel. “These new products from MEGAS and Matchbox demonstrate our commitment to our 2030 goal to achieve 100 per cent recycled, recyclable or bio-based plastic materials in all our products and packaging and to creating a more sustainable future for the next generation.” Mattel is incorporating certified renewable polymers from SABIC’s TRUCIRCLE programme across its product offerings, starting with MEGA Bloks Green Town and select Matchbox products. In doing so, Mattel has become the first toy company to work with SABIC, a recognised name in the chemicals industry, in a mass balance approach. MEGA and Matchbox are also part of Mattel PlayBack, a toy takeback programme launched in the US, Canada, France, Germany, and the UK in 2021 and designed to recover and reuse valuable materials from old Mattel toys. Other Mattel products to have launched in accordance with Mattel’s mission to use 100 per cent recycled, recyclable, or bio-based plastic materials in all products and packaging by 2030, include Barbie Loves the Ocean – its first fashion doll line made from recycled ocean-bound plastic, Fisher-Price Rock-a-Stack and Fisher-Price Baby’s First Blocks - made from bio-based plastics, UNO Nothin’ But Paper – the first fully recyclable UNO deck without cellophane packaging materials, and three previously-released MEGA Bloks sets made from bio-based plastics.