Headimage abstract

PlayBack and recycle

Toy maker Matell is also focusing on a take-back and recycling program for aging toys.


The industry giant recently launched its "PlayBack" program, in which consumers can reportedly return broken or discarded Mattel toys such as old Barbie dolls, Matchbox or Hot Wheels cars, Batman action figures or even Fisher Price educational toys to the company free of charge instead of throwing them away. The toys, which are mostly plastic, are said to be collected, separated by material type, sorted and recycled into new plastic pellets. PlayBack would support Mattel's corporate goal of converting toys and packaging to 100 percent recycled, recyclable or bio-based plastics by 2030, he said. Rival company Hasbro has also been collecting old and broken toys using the same principle for some time: Consumers can download a free shipping label online and send the discarded toys to TerraCycle, a specialty recycler that recovers secondary raw materials from them for new products. As Rafaela Hartenstein, Hasbro's director of corporate affairs in Europe, says, the response so far has been manageable. "In Germany, not as many consumers are using this yet as in the UK or France, for example," Hartenstein reports. The collected and recycled plastic is used to make flower pots, buckets, park benches and more, Hasbro says. Mattel plans to have playground equipment built from the scrap toys collected and recycled through its PlayBack program, which then are said to be donated to facilities for children in need.


  • (31.5.2021)
  • Photo: © Matell

Go back