Toy giant Mattel, the company behind Barbie, announced today that it will stop buying paper and packaging products linked to rainforest destruction following a global campaign by Greenpeace.
As part of its new commitments, Mattel is instructing its suppliers to avoid wood fiber from companies ‘that are known to be involved in deforestation.’ One such company is the notorious Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), which owns five pulp mills in Canada. Greenpeace investigators have identified APP as major contributor to the widespread rainforest clearance in Indonesia.
““The rainforests of Indonesia should be for species like the endangered Sumatran tiger, not for throw-away toy packaging. Mattel’s new paper buying policy is good news for the future of the forests of Indonesia. This is more evidence for APP that rainforest destruction is bad for business,” said Greenpeace’s Indonesian rainforest campaign director, Bustar Maitar.
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Mattel’s new policy also includes safeguards against buying wood fiber from tree plantations established in areas where natural forests recently once stood. The policy also aims to increase the amount of recycled paper used in their business, as well as to boost the use of wood products certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
“While Greenpeace will watch Mattel closely to ensure it implements its commitments, we will encourage other toy companies, including Disney and Hasbro, to take similar action to protect rainforests,” said Richard Brooks, Greenpeace Canada’s forest campaign coordinator.
Using a combination of research and forensic testing, Greenpeace investigators showed that packaging for the Mattel toys was being produced using timber from the rainforests of Indonesia, home to endangered species such as the Sumatran tiger and orangutan. Greenpeace activists dressed as “Ken” dolls scaled Mattel’s headquarters in Los Angeles in June, hanging a giant banner which read “Barbie: It’s Over. I don’t date girls that are into deforestation.”
The conversion of rainforests to pulp tree plantations is a leading driver of deforestation in Indonesia, which has one of the highest rates of forest destruction in the world. The Indonesian government estimates that more than one million hectares of rainforests are being lost every year.
Mattel’s announcement and new paper principles
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APP in Canada
Greenpeace evidence dossier