Mattel Vows to Stop Using Paper from Accused Asian Clear-Cutter

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Toymaker Mattel Inc. says it will stop using packaging from a Singapore-based company accused of clear-cutting swaths of Indonesian rainforest.

Mattel’s action follows a campaign by Greenpeace that targeted, among other products, the packaging used in Mattel’s popular Barbie doll.

While Mattel said it does not typically dictate where its suppliers obtain their materials, the company said it has now “directed” packaging suppliers to stop using pulp from Sinar Mas/APP, one of the world’s largest palm oil and paper companies, until Mattel is able to investigate allegations of illegal deforestation.

“Additionally, we have asked our packaging suppliers to clarify how they are addressing the broader issue in their own supply chains,” the company said in a statement.

Greenpeace has accused Mattel — as well as Hasbro, Lego, and Disney — of buying paper packaging sourced from disappearing rainforests, especially in Indonesia, where about 40 percent of rainforest has been cleared in recent decades.

A Greenpeace campaign launched this week drew global attention after an online video spoofing its Barbie character as a rainforest “serial killer” attracted more than a half-million viewers.

Article appearing courtesy Yale Environment 360.

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Yale Environment 360 is an online magazine offering opinion, analysis, reporting and debate on global environmental issues. We feature original articles by scientists, journalists, environmentalists, academics, policy makers, and business people, as well as multimedia content and a daily digest of major environmental news. Yale Environment 360 is published by the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and Yale University. We are funded in part by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The opinions and views expressed in Yale Environment 360 are those of the authors and not of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies or of Yale University.

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