Mattel’s Toy Takeback Initiative Lets You Responsibly Recycle Old or Broken Toys

published Jun 8, 2022
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
Credit: Emma Fiala

If you’re trying to reduce your family’s environmental impacts, you’re likely well aware that toys end up creating plenty of PlayBack program, a toy take back initiative designed to recover and reuse valuable materials from once-loved childhood toys that can’t be safely donated or reused.

As part of Mattel’s corporate goal to use 100 percent recycled, recyclable, or bio-based plastic materials in all products and packaging by 2030, families can now return any and all toys by Fisher-Price, Barbie, MEGA, and Matchbox to the company’s processing location in East Aurora, New York, receiving a prepaid shipping label upon registration that allows for free returns.

Once the packaged toys are received, they will be sorted and separated by material type and responsibly processed and recycled. For materials that cannot be repurposed as recycled content in new toys, Mattel PlayBack will either downcycle those materials or convert them from waste to energy.

“The Mattel PlayBack program has been eagerly received by consumers and has provided tremendous learning specific to the durability and disassembly of our products, which will aid in the future design of products made for the circular economy,” said Pamela Gill-Alabaster, SVP Global Head of Sustainability and Social Impact, Mattel, in a press release. “We are also exploring new technologies in plastic processing and recycling, with our longer-term goal to use materials collected through Mattel PlayBack in future toy production.”

Launched in the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, and the U.K. in 2021, the program now includes all Fisher-Price toys, including Laugh & Learn, Little People, Imaginext brands, and others, along with Barbie, MEGA, and Matchbox.