These new Barbies are made from ocean-bound plastic
By Alexis Benveniste, CNN Business
(CNN) -- Mattel is launching a new line of Barbies made from plastic that would otherwise become ocean waste.
The "Barbie Loves the Ocean" collection, which has a summer theme, comes with three dolls, a beach shack play set and a starter assortment play set.
The toy company is teaming up with plastics recycling company Envision Plastics, a major recycler of HDPE products, and the material will be sourced from areas in Mexico's Baja peninsula that are trying to mitigate plastic waste pollution.
"Our sustainability efforts represent the next step in Barbie's social mission and evolution," Lisa McKnight, senior vice president at Mattel and global head of the company's Barbie and Dolls portfolio, told CNN Business. "To truly show the next generation they can be anything, we must do our part in protecting the planet, reducing our environmental impact, and promoting sustainable everyday behaviors," she added.
Each doll in the "Barbie Loves the Ocean" set costs $10, while the beach shack play set costs $20 and the starter assortment play set $10. As part of Barbie's vlog series on YouTube, Mattel will pair the dolls' release with a new video called "Barbie Shares How We can All Protect the Planet."
The new Barbie line and Barbie education initiatives are Mattel's latest move in reaching its sustainability goals. The 76-year-old toy company previously committed to using 100% recycled, recyclable or bio-based plastic materials across all of its products and packaging by 2030.
In May, the toy company announced that it was launching a program called "Mattel Playback," which encourages consumers to send Mattel their old toys, and the company can reuse the materials for future Mattel products. The program kicked off with Barbie and two other Mattel brands — Matchbox and MEGA toys — and brands will be added to the program going forward.
The pandemic created an unanticipated surge in demand for toys as parents hunkered down with children at home.
Mattel isn't alone in its eco-efforts, as many large toy companies are trying to become more eco-friendly after decades of relying on environmentally destructive plastic in their products and packaging.
Finding alternatives to plastic is crucial to tackling climate change, and adopting "eco-friendly" marketing and products is important for companies as consumers are increasingly conscious about how their choices affect the planet.
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