Toymaker Hasbro Says It Will Phase Out Plastic Packaging

©. Hasbro

Starting in 2020, the company will redesign packaging to be more environmentally-friendly.

American toy company Hasbro has announced that it will start immediately to phase out plastic from new product packaging. Its goal is to eliminate plastic elements like polybags, elastic bands, shrink wrap, window sheets, and blister packs by 2022.

It's not the first time Hasbro has made a concerted effort to improve its environmental impact. In recent years it has stopped using wire ties, added How2Recycle® labels to packaging, started using plant-based bioPET, and joined forces with TerraCycle to create a toy recycling program.

The recycling program exists in the United States, Germany, France, and Brazil. It turns old toys into "materials to be used in the construction of play spaces, flowerpots, park benches, and other innovative uses." The eventual plan is to ensure that all Hasbro toys are recyclable in the major markets where they are sold.

To cite chairman and CEO Brian Goldner, “Removing plastic from our packaging is the latest advancement in our more than decade-long journey to create a more sustainable future for our business and our world."

Packaging, of course, represents a small fraction of the plastic Hasbro produces. Many of its popular toys, such as Nerf, My Little Pony, Monopoly, G.I. Joe, and Mr. Potato Head, contain considerable amounts of plastic; but I would argue that what these toys have going for them is that they are built to last. The Monopoly game I own is ancient, picked up second-hand at a thrift store, yet still perfectly intact. Many people have old Potato Heads and G.I. Joes kicking around from past decades. These products are not single-use, disposable junk, but rather an investment that is enjoyed by multiple generations of children.

It's good to know that Hasbro is taking steps to think about the full life-cycle of its products and packaging. Hopefully it will encourage other companies to do so as well.