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Why Mattel Wants Your Kid's Old Barbie Dolls

Save the environment one Barbie at a time through the Mattel PlayBack program.

Calling all Barbies, Kens, and Polly Pockets! Toymaker giant Mattel has figured out a way to keep its legacy going and help the environment at the same time with your favorite childhood toys. This week, the company launched a new recycling program called Mattel PlayBack to “recover and reuse materials from old Mattel toys for future Mattel products.”

“Mattel toys are made to last and be passed on from generation to generation,” Richard Dickson, president and chief operating officer of Mattel, said in a press release Monday. “A key part of our product design process is a relentless focus on innovation, and finding sustainable solutions is one significant way we are innovating. Our Mattel PlayBack program is a great example of this, enabling us to turn materials from toys that have lived their useful life into recycled materials for new products.”

In 2019, Mattel committed to using 100% recycled, recyclable or bio-based plastic materials across all of its products and packaging by 2030. These products will also include FisherPrice and MEGA Blocks.

To participate in the recycling program, simply go to the Mattel PlayBack website and print out a free shipping label. From there, pack and mail your Mattel toys back to the company.

The toys will then be collected, sorted, and separated by the material type, processed, and finally, recycled. For toys that cannot be recycled, Mattel will either convert them from waste to energy or downcycle them. Either way, it will be used in the name of the environment.

Right now the program is only available in the United States and Canada, but Mattel says it will eventually expand to extend to France, Germany, and the United Kingdom through third-party outlets.

Mattel PlayBack is a great option for those 90s kids, now adults who want to clear out some boxes in the basement and for those with kids who are simply over that toy truck.