Hasbro Inc. -- known for its plastic dolls, Transformers and Mr. Potato Heads -- is vowing to cut down on the plastic components used to package those products.
The toy company will start phasing out plastic from new packaging, including elastic bands and shrink wrap, starting next year, with a plan to eliminate virtually all plastic from packages for new products by the end of 2022.
The company has not yet announced a plan to cut down on plastic usage in the toys themselves, though Chief Operating Officer John Frascotti said the company will soon announce steps involving more sustainable materials. Consumer companies are facing an increasing backlash to single-use plastics, with major corporations from PepsiCo Inc. to Procter & Gamble Co. vowing to cut back.
The packaging switch will only apply to new products. About two-thirds of Hasbro’s product portfolio is new each year.
“Something already designed and on the shelf we’re not taking off the shelf, but everything we’re putting into the marketplace going forward” would get the new packaging where it makes sense, Frascotti said in an interview, noting that the new packaging costs will be about the same for the company.
There are some places Hasbro won’t be able to replace plastic, he said, citing health and regulatory rules. For example, packaging for Easy Bake Oven ingredients will remain wrapped in plastic to keep the food tamper-proof and fresh. So far, Hasbro hasn’t been able to find an alternative.