This week Mattel launched the pilot phase of Playback, an initiative that aims at the recovery and recycling of used toys (or at least those produced by the company).
Whether it's unwanted, bulky, or simply broken toys, the company sends a free shipping label via email. Ship the toys to them as they are (you don't even need to clean them up) and Mattel reuses everything that is reusable, recirculating much of the material from its toys to make new ones.
What about toy components that cannot be recycled? (No, they don't end in plastic museum)
Here the company inevitably becomes less clear-cut, but equally determined “we will transform them into energy”. Ok. Here maybe I'll ask for a supplement of explanations, right? Mattel points out that "if the toys are still in good condition, we encourage them to donate them to a local charity so that children can enjoy them for as long as possible." However, if one insists and has no one to give them to, at that point they gladly take them back.
Then? What do you think?
It would not be bad if there were more and more companies that deal with providing "perpetual" cycle products, also managing the end of life and rebirth of their objects. Toys are obviously no exception.
Initially, the pilot-phase program can only manage toys from the Barbie, Matchbox and MEGA series, and is only active in the United States and Canada. As early as the planned second phase, the program is expected to expand to include more toy brands to be withdrawn for recycling, as well as more countries. The next on the list, already announced, are the United Kingdom, France and Germany.
International readers (luckily you are!) If your country is already interested in the PlayBack program and you want to get rid of your toys, at this address you can get the shipping label.