You�ve all heard about carbon-neutral manufacturing in a number of industries. Now, toymaker Mattel is changing the game where kids� playthings are concerned as it recently introduced a line of carbon-free toys.
Mattel’s carbon-free line includes products from several of its primary production lines, particularly construction toy Mega Bloks and mini-carmaker Matchbox. Both developments are part of the company�s plan to use 100% recycled and carbon-neutral materials in its products and packaging by 2030.
Building better futures
Mega Bloks, in particular, introduced a Green Town Line. These are toys primarily made from plant-based materials instead of conventional plastics, which are processed from fossil fuels. Building block playsets under the line also include items created to encourage children to think about sustainability even from a very young age such as miniature electric vehicles.
The line currently includes four playsets: the Green Town Charge and Go mini electric bus; the Green Town Sort and Recycle Squad, which aims to teach children about upcycling and proper waste disposal; the Green Town Grow and Protect Farm which serves as a learning aid for conservation and sustainable agriculture; and the Green Town Build and Learn Eco House which teaches children about energy conservation and renewable energy.
Even the packaging for Mega Bloks� Green Town Line adheres to eco-friendly standards. The paper used for the boxes is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, an organization that promotes the responsible management of forested areas throughout the world.
Developed for preschool-aged children, the Green Town Line has been certified as carbon-neutral by London-based sustainability firm Natural Capital Partners. The brand earned its certification by purchasing carbon offsets from Canada’s Darkwood Forests Conservation initiative which aims to protect over 156,000 acres of forest in British Columbia.
However, carbon offsets have become somewhat controversial in recent years as a sustainability measure. According to several climate change experts, these offset schemes still allow companies to maximize the use of fossil fuels just as scientists are demanding that the world should be cutting back. At the same time, companies that use carbon offsets are also accused of being vague about the actual amount of emissions they are actually reducing in their production processes.
The future of miniature cars
Matchbox, Mattel’s signature line of collectible toy cars, has also hopped onto the carbon-neutral bandwagon with the introduction of the micronized Tesla Roadster.
The 1:64 scale replica of the original EV is the first die-cast toy vehicle to be made with 99% carbon-neutral materials and is the first in the product line not to feature plastics in its packaging.