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Mattel unveils bio-based toys.

Mattel’s Mega brand has launched bio-based toys. ©Mattel

 “Environmental sustainability is a corporate priority and we are proud to announce Mega’s first product made from bio-based materials.”

Toy giant Mattel will be launching new building blocks made from bio-based plastics as part of its 2030 sustainability commitment.

In a statement, the company said its popular pre-school Mega Bloks will be derived from bio-based materials. Three pre-school building sets – Polar Friends, Safari Friends and Woodland Friends – will be affected by the change.

The building sets have Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified packaging that is fully recyclable.

The Mega announcement is the second product that Mattel (@Mattel) has introduced as part of its recently announced goal to achieve 100% recycled, recyclable or bio-based plastics materials in both its products and packaging by 2030.

This new goal expands the company’s ‘Environmental Sustainable Sourcing Principles’ that were announced in 2011, Mattel said.

Mattel also maintained that it now sources 93% of the paper and wood fibre used in its packaging and products from recycled or FSC content, surpassing its 2018 goal of 90%.

“Environmental sustainability is a corporate priority and we are proud to announce Mega’s first product made from bio-based materials,” said Richard Dickson, President and COO of Mattel. “Our Mega team is deeply committed to bringing the best products to their loyal consumers and they are driving innovation to do this in the most sustainable way.”

“Creating a more sustainable world is important to our team, our company and our consumers, and our first construction line derive from bio-based plastics is an example of this,” added Bisma Ansari, SVP of Mega. “Our Mega Bloks are the defining product for Mega, so this next step in innovation allows us to create the high-quality products we know families love from more sustainable materials.”

The first retailer to market the line in Europe will be Argos (@Argos_Online) and Sainsbury’s (@Sainsburys) in the UK. Sainsbury’s is one of the UK’s leading retailers which acquired multi-channel retailer Argos in 2016.

Argos will the new building sets as part of its January 2020 catalogue. Amazon Europe is launching a presale of the product in Germany, France, Italy and Spain.

More and more consumers are demanding that brands adopt sustainable practices and source environmentally-friendly products.

Mattel’s news announcement comes at a time when Sainsbury’s has announced a commitment today to invest £1 billion over twenty years towards becoming a ‘net zero’ business across its own operations by 2040.

The retailer’s current carbon footprint is one million tonnes, which is a 35% absolute reduction in the last 15 years despite its space increasing by 46% over the same time frame. For the last six years Sainsbury’s has been awarded an A rating for taking action on Climate Change by the CDP, the highest rating of any UK supermarket.

In relation to tackling plastics, Sainsbury’s will aim to halve plastic packaging by 2025 and then go further.

According to the retailer, it removed thousands of tonnes of single use plastic across the business in 2019. From fresh food plastic trays (412 tonnes) to 290 million loose produce plastic bags and 20 million polystyrene pizza bases (180 tonnes). It also replaced 1,200 tonnes of own brand PVC packaging with recyclable alternatives.

Mike Coupe, CEO of Sainsbury’s, said: “We recognise that we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to make the changes needed to help the planet exist sustainably. We have over 27 million customers each week and almost 180,000 colleagues and we hope that we can collaborate across industries and sectors to help create momentum and drive meaningful change.

“Only when the trajectory for global warming slows to a maximum of 1.5 degrees will we all know that we can truly live well for less now and in the future.”

If you were interested in this bioeconomy story, you may also be interested in the ones below. 

Read: Lego joins Nestlé and McDonald’s in 100% sustainable packaging pledge.

Read: World Bio Markets Outlook 2020: Kaya Kaplancali from Bioserie.

Read: 5 Minutes With… Stephanie Triau, Co-founder and CEO at Bioserie.

Read: How toymakers are taking the lead on bio-based plastics.

Read: Toyobo and Avantium jointly develop thin films from 100% bio-based PEF.

Read: Playing with rubbish! Introducing the Bioeconomy Game.

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