PolymPart: Hasbro, one of the world’s largest toy manufacturers, has stepped up its sustainability game and is phasing out all plastics used to package its toys and games by the end of 2022.
The plastics ban covers just the packaging, not the plastic action figures or dolls or trucks inside the packaging. But Hasbro said it is targeting the most wasteful part of the toy buying experience – the part most likely to immediately end up in the trash.
Hasbro’s announcement today is part of a decade-long effort to reduce the environmental impact of its products.
The initiative helps Hasbro, the maker of brands like Monopoly, Nerf, My Little Pony and Magic: The Gathering, score points in several ways. Today’s young parents care about sustainability. And they are horrified by how much waste is generated by the packaging surrounding a typical action figure, doll, or toy truck.
The move could end up having the added bonus of making those packages easier for moms and dads to open going forward by eliminating the blister packs, shrink wraps, and plastic bags that toys are now encased in, sometimes in multiple layers.
Most of the toys Hasbro sells will continue to be made of plastic. But with the packaging decision, Hasbro is going after the most disposable, single-use part of the toy equation, something Hasbro President and Chief Operating Officer John Frascotti likens to the “water bottle” problem of the toy industry.
The toys, Frascotti said, typically stay with families for many years, but the packaging is discarded almost immediately. “So it’s more like a single-use plastic, more like a water bottle if you will,” he said.